The Most Important Professional “Credential”

I spoke at a professional networking group last week, with a room full of CIOs and IT Leaders. It was a wonderful event, with tons of great questions, stories and discussions.

But one story really resonated with me, and I have not stopped thinking about it since. One of the leaders in the room took the microphone and told a story about how their career started, in a low-level position within the organization. And that person has steadily risen up the ranks over the last decade and is now a senior IT leader.

This leader described at length how often people treated them poorly early in their career, either by not taking them seriously, or being dismissive, or even in some cases being outright rude. This leader had visceral memories of not being taken seriously for a long time… that is until their position was senior enough that others now saw them as “important.” Once this leader got to a certain level within the organization, the way others treated them changed dramatically. And during the story, it was obvious that this leader remembers all of it, and to this day questions certain peoples’ sincerity when they are now treated “well.”

The point here is that all of us, myself included, spend a decent amount of mental energy on building and displaying our professional credentials. We all care about what appears on our LinkedIn page, in our bios, or on our resume. And all of those things are good and necessary.

But the most important “credential,” and the thing that most people remember the longest, is simply how we treat them. The way we treat others is what gets stamped onto people’s memories about us. Period.

This is a blog about communication and leadership, and how to make ourselves more persuasive, and how to increase our presence and expand our credibility. And all of those things are vastly more powerful if we simply remember to treat people well… especially before they have something that we want.

Good luck, and have a great day.

Does your team:
– Take too long to make decision?
– Fail to ask for what it wants or needs from you?
– Make things too complicated?
– Deliver unconvincing or disorganized presentations?
– Have new hires who are unprepared to communicate in the workplace?

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Dean Brenner

A book about change

The Latimer Group’s CEO Dean Brenner is a noted keynote speaker and author on the subject of persuasive communication. He has written three books, including Persuaded, in which he details how communication can transform organizations into highly effective, creative, transparent environments that succeed at every level.