Your Seat at the Table

Who hasn’t heard this phrase: “your seat at the table?”

But what seat truly personifies you at the table? And when is it your turn to sit at the table? The workplace climate and culture play a huge part on who will be allowed at the table. And yes, I said ALLOWED. In every industry there is a “velvet rope,” so to speak.”

Now, ask yourself, will you be in the VIP section, general admission, or in the area where you can literally move the velvet rope, and sneak in all because the bouncer is no longer looking your way. Keep in mind that either way; you have possibly sacrificed something to have your seat at the table.

This table normally includes:

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Influencers: Most millennials would look at this word (influencer) and automatically think “Social Media Influencer,” and in this day and age that may very well be at the forefront of all our thinking, now. Why is there a need to have an influencer at the table? Influencers are Key Opinion Leaders and not to mention they are the ambassadors of the organization or company. These are the people that assist in a culture change that you are trying to implement in the organization or company. These are the people that the audience will 1) Know and trust, 2) They have possibly promoted change within and outside of the company before, and their success rate was pretty high, and 3) You realize that this person is an expert in their industry or field. So the need for them to be at the table is essential, because their reach is pretty long, especially for the audience you are targeting.

Role: They are placed at the table to establish credibility in a specific industry. Whereas, in this case a social media influencer has a huge audience and can persuade their audience or others by virtue of their authenticity and reach.

Decision Makers: Are essential to the optimization process, such as communication, human resources, and supply chain management. These people normally are able to asses the issue presented to them, and navigate through the crucial conversation and even complicated situations. Their thought process allows for the organization or companies to benefit in the long term. And let’s be clear that the BEST Decision Makers are able to transform an organization taking it from mediocre to world-renown.

Role: Why is there a need to have a decision maker at the table? Great decision maker understand that they can’t do it all. So, they may put together a team, or should I say, involve more than one person to assist with decision making.

Photo by Ali Yahya on Unsplash

Gate Keepers: Ever been invited to a party at a nightclub, and the promoter you met on the strip earlier that day told you- you would get in for free. So you get in line, the VIP line at that, only to stand there for more than two hours, and every time you saw the velvet rope be moved you watched how everyone frantically waved their hands at the bouncers or promoters to try and get in. Which essentially you saw that every hand had money in them. These bouncers and promoters, essentially, in this environment were the gatekeepers, but is it truly necessary that you have “lace” the fingers of the bouncers to get in? Maybe not in literally, but possibly figuratively.

Role: Keep in mind most gatekeepers don’t make the decisions, they are normally there to protect the decision-makers, because the decision maker trust them.

And some new ones that I totally forgot about. Thanks to one of my favorite leadership blogs

The Connector: BeLeaderly states, The Connector “makes introductions and help you grow your network.” As a connector you have to have a unique ability to understand the needs and wants of people in order to properly place them together. Connectors normally start their conversations by saying “How can I help you?

Role: They are not afraid to loop everyone in. This allows a connector to be the more transparent one at the table. They are normally very trustworthy they make the connection with the stakeholders, internally and externally.

And the …

The Information Powerhouse: BeLeaderly states, The Information Powerhouse “ keeps you current on the buzz in your organization,” This person is very close to a Chief of Staff. The COS is the point of contact for the gatekeeper between Senior Leadership or Top Management and other stakeholders.

Role: They are normally the direct contact to their boss, CEO, PResident, Director , as the communications powerhouse. They are also the sounding board to their bosses ideas and initiatives. I have also experienced that they are normally the interpreter for their boss.

The Mentor: BeLeaderly states that this person, “supports your growth and development by providing feedback and guidance.” As culture shifts in the workplace most of leadership have recently taken on the role of a mentor. This role can be held by anyone at the table.

Role: Improve communication; personal and professional skills. Develop leadership and management qualities. Increase confidence and motivation.

The Sponsor: BeLeaderly indicates that this person, “pulls strings to accelerate your career by leveraging their circle of influence.”They spot the strengths in people, that most are not even aware of. These strengths are normally underdeveloped and need to be showcased.

Role: They are able to find value in strengths many don’t see in themselves, or actually publicize those that were in the shadows, but had always done their work to the fullest. Do to their influence, sponsors can open up career doors and/or opportunities that many never thought possible.

So, what seat do you hold at the table? Or for that matter, which person at the table should you familiarize yourself with? Sticking to the point of this article what is your seat at the table? And have you identified your Projects in order to put their Passion to work to fulfill your Purpose In the Conventional and Unconventional Worlds of Professionalism?

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