Promote Yourself, With Tact -- Tactic #16

"He who tooteth not his own horn, will not his horn have tooted."

A favorite saying from a prior boss an mentor, but definitely one with a truth behind it.  If you want to gain attention for your accomplishments,  you need to make others aware of them.  The most miraculous business save, if accomplished without the knowledge of your peers and superiors, is wasted.  Sure, you could sit around feeling angry, reasoning that they should know, that it is their job to know.  But that won't get you anywhere.

On the other hand, in all the corporate environments I've known, there is a fine line between subtle tooting, and obnoxious self-promotion.  Fall into the later category, and you are likely to be scorned and avoided.

The bad news is, I don't know how exactly to tell you where the line is.  It varies a bit by company, and also by what you're crowing over.  I can, however, suggest the following procedure.

First, be cautious and watch others.  Specifically watch for someone who is in the "obnoxious self-promoter" category.  Observe specifically what they are doing that crosses the line, and vow to yourself to never, ever do those things.

Then identify someone who is doing a good job of tactful tooting, and note the behaviors that are effective in getting the point across without annoying others.

There are two other tips I can pass along,  First, the most effective self-promotion tactic I've ever come across?  Talk about the magnitude of the success you've achieved, but when it comes to people, compliment others who were involved, and take little or now credit yourself.  Tell everyone  how it wouldn't have been possible if Sally hadn't gotten you that price analysis, and how well Bob handled that angry call from the customer.  It will get the point across about the accomplishment, and will at least have a hint of palatable humility.

Want to go one step further?  Get Sally, or Bob, or both to also tell the story, but in their version they give you the credit.  Again, it accomplishes the tooting without the obnoxious aftertaste.

There are two ways to make such an arrangement -- first, you could overtly negotiate it with Sally.  I must admit I've never tried this, as it always seemed a bit "unseemly", but that's probably why I was never a highly successful Power Player.  If you are sure of your relationship with the person, and want to get the best advantage from the success, there isn't much that can beat a spoken understanding.

The second method, is the bragging version of the virtuous circle.  Compliment Bob on his piece of the success when he's present, and then depend on him to return the favor.  If Bob is at least a political neutral, he should catch on.  Of course, if he's an avoider or a street fighter, this probably won't work.  He'll either be puzzled by your actions, or try to turn the situation further to his advantage.

Remember, power players -- even maneuverers -- need to draw attention to themselves, and self promotion is one of the most effective ways to do that.  And it is fairly unlikely to result in retaliation, if done effectively.  It is an important part of the power player's arsenal.