As my work as a product manager, I have seen so many different visions and products go from idea to a fabulous product. There is so much inspiration in the world of technology. There is nothing more enjoyable than sitting in a conference room with a bunch of sticky notes brainstorming.
What I have learned is that to keep a product idea moving forward, you need to build support. The support that comes in the form of others participating in developing your plan.
The same thing holds as you grow your career and influence. You need to have ambassadors. These are people who believe in you without reservation and spread the word about your awesomeness. They will be the ones who will open doors for you as guide you as you learn and grow. They will also call you out when you are headed down the wrong path.
How can you go about building a tribe of support? Here are some ideas.
Surround yourself with caring and brilliant people
Who are your role models? Who do you connect with at work? Who inspires you? Use LinkedIn to build your connections. Start blogging and commenting on people’s posts. Build your tribe.
For me, being a technologist turned coach, I struggled to find my tribe. Coaching was one group. IT workers was a completely different group. But I kept searching and have finally found my tribe. I did this by connecting on LinkedIn, reading, going to conferences, and I just put myself out there.
How can I serve you?
Once you start to build your network, support them as well. Share their posts, be their vocal advocates. Go with a mindset of service. Don’t focus your efforts just on you and how you can make more money. Learn how you can help others in your network.
When you start to build your tribe, you feel good. It becomes like a family.
Own your worth
Talk about what you do. Talk about your ideas. Don’t be afraid. Many don’t speak up since they are worried their design will be stolen or that it’s not good enough.
I say to own it. Put your exciting ideas out there into the world. Speak up openly and boldly about your new work.
Yes, in certain circumstances, you do need to keep your innovative ideas to yourself until a specific point in the development path. But in general, if you won’t talk about what you’re doing and working on, you can’t build support for it. You cannot violate confidentiality. But keep things high level and just put your enthusiasm out there.
Ask for feedback
Yes. Feedback is one of the most challenging parts of working. Don’t ask for feedback from people who do not know you. Ask from those who you trust, to be honest with you, and have your best interests in mind. Ask your five biggest cheerleaders to share their feedback.