“If I don’t hear about it, it didn’t happen.”
When I was a park ranger, the director gave me that piece of advice.
From that day on, anytime something good happened at our park, I would boast about it.
Of course, if we did something good at the park, it did happen whether or not the director heard about it. But his message was clear.
If we didn’t talk about the good work we were doing, and he never found out about it, he could not help us accomplish more. He could not share our accomplishments and ideas with other parks and people.
Keep this in mind as I tell you about a conversation I had this week.
During a consulting call with a former executive-level government employee, he was explaining how he was moving into the private sector and focusing on consulting work.
After 35 years in public service, he was having trouble getting his message out.
Or, let me say it this way, he was having trouble promoting himself. Doing so felt like bragging, or boasting, or shameless self-promotion.
As a public servant, he spent years focusing on service. He always had work to do and opportunities to serve people dictated by his job title.
His whole career, he focused on other people. Servant leaders don’t brag about themselves. “It’s not about me” is what he is thinking and why he is struggling to get his message out.
He is right, it is not about him.
But remember the advice I received as a park ranger, “If I didn’t hear about it, it didn’t happen.”
The same applies to self-promotion.
If nobody hears about you, how can you serve them?
If you have a service to sell and you know it can help people, you have to promote yourself. You have to brag a little about yourself.
Don’t let other people miss out because they don’t yet know who you are and what you can offer.
This is why I publish an episode of The Jody Maberry Show every week. This is why I have started writing an email every week.
If people don’t know who you are, you can’t help them.