Under valued leaders

3 Questions to ask yourself if you are that leader.

Being a leader is not an easy or simple role. It is complex, difficult, ever-changing and also can be highly rewarding.

As a leader, should you make a change if you feel under-valued in your current company? What about the risks of leaving something known to go to something unknown.

Here are 3 questions to ask when faced with this dilemma.

  1. What are the specific contributions I have made to the organization in this role?
  2. Are those contributions in alignment with the expectations of the company?
  3. What more could I do for the company and have I made those aspirations known?

First, take an unflinching look at the contributions you have made in this current role. Consider framing those contributions this way:

  1. What situation(s) did I face?
  2. What opportunities did I seize and what obstacles did I surmount?
  3. What were my own actions?
  4. What was the payoff?

Secondly, to what extent has the company sought those contributions? It’s vital that you determine whether you are offering your hard work and expertise to an organization that does not value those particular contributions.

Some organizations (and people) value transactional activities while others value the big picture innovator who can turn transactions into transformations. Which are you? Which is your current company?

And finally, if you are currently undervalued, to what extent have you actively sought to be recognized for your contributions? Have you thoughtfully made others aware of the positive impact of what you have achieved? Or are you waiting for someone to notice?

What else could you/do you want to do as a leader? Have you made those aspirations known in a compelling way?

To stay or to go…it takes courage and skill either way.

Once you have explored the 3 questions consider this:

  • You are not required to be (nor can you be) a fit for every organization. However, to both be able to do the work you want to do and to be recognized for it, you need to learn how to inform others of your contributions (to “market” yourself) in professional and concrete ways. If you do that and the organization still undervalues you, it may be time to move on. No harm, no foul.
  • Honing and employing your influencing skills is important in determining whether you should leave. Have you carefully taken the opportunity to influence those who should see your value? If you have done this without the requisite recognition you hoped for, once again, it may be time to move on.

As has been said, misery is optional, and if you feel undervalued….AND have done your best to influence effectively and to market your contributions….staying in your current role could mean that you do not get the opportunity to soar and to thrive as the leader you know you can be.