Advocates & Allies…
To STAND OUT from the crowd you must surround yourself with great people. Do you have people in your life who will be honest with you, support you, go to bat for you and help you succeed? The people who fit this category are your advocates and allies, and they are absolutely invaluable to your success.
Advocates and allies will stop you when you’re headed in the wrong direction, let you know when you’ve gone too far, offer helpful criticism when needed and influence you in a positive way. In today’s uncertain world, having people around you who can help you achieve your goals is a definite advantage.
How good are you at building and maintaining these strong and supportive relationships – inside and outside your organization? If your list of advocates and allies has only one name on it (and it’s your mom) you need to work on your relationship building skills! Advocates and allies can be found everywhere, in all departments, divisions, branches and teams. They can be your customers, co-workers, colleagues, leaders or followers.
Your boss may be an ally, but he/she may not be there forever (or may already be gone). You never know who will be in a position to fight for you, so never miss an opportunity to make an ally, even if you don’t perceive that person to currently be in a position of power. The person you work alongside today could be the person you report to tomorrow.
In our highly competitive world where people often have to fight to be noticed and recognized, remember this: You don’t choose your advocates. They choose you. Are you the kind of person others believe in enough to offer guidance, help, strength and encouragement when you need it the most? Do people stand by you in difficult times? Do you get help when you ask for it?
If you’re not satisfied with your answers, you can still do something about it. Supportive relationships don’t magically appear when you need them. They must be cultivated and continually nurtured. People are watching to see how you live your life, do your job, communicate, treat people, handle change, deal with stress, negotiate, cope with difficult people and work with a team. Based on their observations over time, they can choose to support you – or not. When you make the right choices you will STAND OUT as the person they are proud to know and support.