Athena In Action September 29, 2018

Journey Tip of the Month—October 2018

By Adriana Azuri Journey Advisor

Creating a Go-to-Market Portfolio that Conveys Your Leadership and Results

As you come across a board opportunity through Athena, a friend, or network contact that seems to beckon your leadership skills and expertise, please ask yourself, “Do I have a board portfolio that best aligns my leadership and history of results to what this board is looking for?” In some cases, all you may need is an introduction to that “right” person. But after that introduction has been made, that person—or board—will need to know about you, what you have accomplished, and how your contributions compare to those of others, before they can determine if you are best aligned with what they’re looking for. While some may be fortunate to only need an introduction to receive a call and the ability to position themselves the right way and land that opportunity, many also will be asked for a resume and a bio to know more or share with others who are key in making that decision.

As I work with my members in step two of the 6-step journey, we do a deep dive, collaborating through a discovery process to determine your best leadership attributes with your most impactful career achievements, while ensuring these align with the board opportunities for which you are best suited. It is critical to know and be able to convey the value YOU bring to the board that sets you apart from other peers who would be trying to attain the same board seat. Our outcome together is a portfolio with an executive-branded resume or CV, board bio, elevator pitch, and LinkedIn profile with a consistent message and branding of that value.  

How to Create Your Message

Regardless of your industry or executive role, to be successful in crafting your message of leadership and experience, we begin by depicting the initiatives you’ve spearheaded and the results you’ve generated, substantiated by metrics of results and scope to promote the impact or place it on a map. We set forth to create your competitive advantage, much like you would do for a business through an innovative product – but now this product is YOU.

As we look under every metaphorical rock, consistent themes start to emerge, making you synonymous with stories of growth, turnarounds, successful strategies, and innovation, just to name a few. Leveraging the scope of the organizations for whom you’ve delivered high value—along with the budgets, P&L, or revenue amounts you’ve delivered and the size of teams you’ve overseen—your picture of leadership becomes clearer and more convincing. We then merge that with the results you’ve garnered benefiting those businesses including revenue growth or creation, cost savings, efficiencies, and improvements. Additionally, we incorporate your professional affiliations, non-profit service, speaking engagements, keynotes, published materials, education, and relevant information that convey your thought leadership in a well-rounded manner alongside your career progression.

As we position these in their respective format structures of an executive resume or CV, a board bio, and your LinkedIn profile, we ensure that despite where someone reads about your leadership and experience, your brand and messaging is consistently depicted. Further, we collaborate to develop your elevator pitch for you to use in a conversation or interview for an opportunity, a network contact that can help connect you to an opportunity, or anywhere you are introducing yourself. This pitch will also be aligned to the message and brand from your other portfolio pieces, answering the questions of who you are, what you do, and how you deliver value.

While most wish to immediately start by writing a board bio and pitch, it is important to devote the time to go through this process. It is critical to deliberately discover and elevate the position of your overall career achievements, ensuring these are well-rounded and not all about the same type of value, inadvertently providing a narrow view of your leadership. I guide my members through this purposeful process in 1:1 sessions, asking the right questions to optimize these stories. If you set specific time to go through this process with intention and attention, collecting and telling your best stories of leadership and accomplishments, your materials will truly reflect them.