Elevating Your Voice To The C-Suite - Pegine

Elevating Your Voice To The C-Suite

How you influence, impact and inspire others to action, especially within the C-Suite is a combination of marketing, strategy, communication and confidence.  The people I coach are leaders who must continually influence C-Suite leaders and those that have their ear.  There are key strategies you can use to elevate your voice. It takes courage and a willingness on your part to become a C Suite Influencer.

There are four key strategies that you can use now to enhance your expertise and elevate your voice. 

1- Communicate With Your C Suite Leaders And Influencers Regularly

One of the biggest differentiators between those that have the ear of the C Suite and those that don’t, is that those that do have regular communication.  Building your relationship before you need them is a critical and savvy move. Let them get to know you.

(a) Tell them they moved you

When a C Suite leader or influencer says something that moved you, touched you or was important to you let them know. Write a handwritten note or email to that C Suite leader or influencer and tell them that their words matter.  That is how relationships begin.

(b) Be a part of their team, volunteer for their committees’ task forces or community outreach endeavors

Be part of their task force, committee, or a volunteer endeavor. This is how you create a working relationship with a C Suite leader or influencer. Thank them for the opportunity to work with them, even if you were not under their direct report. By connecting with them you are noticed, this elevates your voice.

[c] Keep them updated at least every six months about your accomplishments.

Update them on panels you have been on, and opportunities you have been given.  It isn’t bragging, it is informing and keep them in the loop. This will be taking you out of your comfort zone. Know that C Suite leader or influencers really do want to know about you and what you are doing.  Your successes matter, you become part of their winning tool kit.

Note: every so often there is a person who goes overboard and calls every single leader and influencer every month to share their news. Not a good move. Gratefully the person who does that is rare, very rare.

2 Build A Broad Network Of C Suite Leaders And Influencers

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Don’t get stuck with just one C Suite leader or influencer. I was privileged to be part of a boutique meeting of C Suite leaders.  The discussion was about engaging women leaders in higher ranks.  The conversation turned to how important it was that a aspirational senior leader diversify her network among the C-Suite leaders and influencers and how rarely that was done. If you are in the events division get to know the CFO, COO, CMO, sales leaders and stretch yourself and stretch your network. If you aren’t uncomfortable you aren’t stretching.

This is critical. You need a broad network because you need allies behind closed doors. You need people who know you, like you and want to speak up for you.  They will only do that for you if they know you and have a connection to you.  

 

3- Think From Their Point Of View. Know What You Want And Know It Solves A Problem For Them.

You have to know what you want, what you will do and the solutions you bring. Make it short, sweet and to the point.

When elevating your voice to C-Suite leaders and influencers you have to shift your focus to their perspective. You will have less than 10 minutes to do it and less than 1 minute to clearly communicate what you want and your solution.

Lack of clarity and perspective of their big picture view can cost you the opportunity.   I know because I’ve been there.

Through serendipity I was offered the chance to meet with the Deputy Secretary of Defense to discuss women in leadership and programming.  I walked into his office. The Secretary was gracious, then 14 other people joined the meeting to hear what I had to say and what I was pitching. I planned for a one on one. I didn’t recognize the scope, the perception and the vison they had for the work I was doing. I was completely caught off guard, I flustered and blew the opportunity. I wasn’t prepared for scale. They wanted to know how I can serve 2 million military and civilian employees. I had the programs and hadn’t thought through massive scale.

My lack of clarity and perspective of their big picture view caught me off guard and got me flustered. In less than 10 minutes the room started clearing out.

Now I know and so do you. Know their big perspective, know what you want and offer a solution for them.

4- Ask for Advice and Tweak Your Pitch

Had I strategized, diversified my C-Suite and Influencer network within the Department of Defense I would have been able to be aware of the rich resource C-Suite leaders and influencers provide.  Once they know you, like you and trust you [because of your communication] they are willing to help you.

[a] Ask their advice and for their support.

Ask them for introductions to allies, giving you strength in numbers. Ask them to punch holes in your project and where should you strengthen your pitch. Ask them to sponsor you and talk about your project behind closed doors to others. You want influential people willingly to speak positively about you behind your back.

Pegine Motivational Speaker www.Pegine.com[b] Practice your 5-minute pitch with them. If you have a broad network, (you should) speak to someone removed from your division or industry.  The more senior they are the better. Ask them to help you hone your five-minute pitch. Think Shark Tank, the TV small business show, the more honed and practiced people are, the more confident they communicate their pitch the more likely they will get support. They used mentors and guides. You can too.

Be courageous and  willing to elevate your voice among the C Suite and Influencers.  If you are reading this you know it is time for you to step up, lift your presence and build a strong high-level network.

About Pegine Echevarria, MSW, CSP

“Be Powerful! Be You! Have Impact” is Pegine’s call to action. As a professional speaker, coach and national leader Pegine has worked with members of the C-Suite and influencers of the C-Suite from Fortune 500, government, military and entrepreneurs. Her company trained over 20,000 officers from all branches of the military and US allies from 21 countries on cultural negotiations using influence, impact and how to inspire others. Her “Global Women’s Leadership Experience” attracts women from around the world for executive presence and leadership practice. Named 1 of 100 Global Thought Leaders on Diversity and Inclusion. She is inducted into the Motivational Speakers Hall of Fame . www.Pegine.com

Pegine www.Pegine.com motivational speaker

 

 

Posted in Leadership, Self Development, Selling in a diverse world, Success on October 29, 2018 by Pegine Echevarria.
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