How to Shamelessly Promote Yourself Without Coming Across as an Arrogant Putz

Accountability Management Organizational leadership


As a CEO, over the 40 years of my career it has been interesting to watch people promote themselves. Some do it well, bring value, and increase their personal brands. Others are clumsier and even damage their personal credibility. Here is what I’ve observed about how to do it well:

  1. Get absolute clarity about the projects assigned to you so that there is minimal doubt about what defines success. Do not accept fuzzy assignments. You will likely fail because success is undefined or changes with the whims of your boss.
  2. Show and celebrate progress along the way by:
    1. Using facts and data to validate forward movement; be precise and don’t use B.S. to overstate progress.
    2. Getting stake holders (customers, other departments, etc.) to announce progress to your boss and his/her boss.
    3. Celebrating milestones; have stake holders be part of the hoopla. Make it clear what the milestones are, share in the success, and have fun.
    4. Letting your team get as much credit as possible. Make everyone associated with you a winner. Do not minimize your role but shine a brighter spotlight on them.
    5. Under promising but over delivering. This is incredibly important at every stage of a project and a key principle for our careers.
    6. Doing something memorable to announce “mission accomplished.” (Never announce accomplishment unless the stakeholders want to participate and agree that facts/data support the win.)
  3. Stay humble and never take exclusive credit. Your team will appreciate it and others will notice.


Character Move: be proactive reinforcing your personal value and brand promise. Identify what projects you can apply these principles against asap! Promote yourself shamelessly following the above.

Self Promoting with Respect in the Triangle,