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Why you need to advocate for yourself

My client Shaun wants a promotion. 

Do you know what is holding him back? 


My client Lucia would love to move to another department in her organization.

What do you think is holding her back?

It’s fear as well. 

These two situations are common.

There is an epidemic of fear out there.

Too many people limit their potential or stay stuck in unchallenging roles because they are too afraid to speak up. 

I asked Shaun if he thought of asking his manager for a promotion.

He said, “no.” He is too afraid of how his manager will react.

So, Shaun stays stuck in frustration…just dreaming of what is possible.

Your dreams won't come true if you don't advocate for yourselfYour dreams won’t come true if you don’t advocate for yourself.

After our conversation, Shaun realized that he was actually doing a disservice to the business by not speaking up. The new role he envisions for himself would be beneficial not only for his team but also for the business.

This promotion is not a vanity project for Shaun; rather, it’s a strategic move that makes sense for the business.

So, I told Shaun he needs to do two things.

  1. Plan. He needs to put a business case together. He needs to prepare for his conversation with his boss. This conversation is not one where one can “wing it.” It needs to be a well-thought-through discussion.
  2. Bring on his courage. These conversations can be nerve-wracking. They require that you are a bit vulnerable and really speak your truth. Plus, you may get a different response than you hope for. So, yes, courage might be a prerequisite for speaking up.

Is there a situation at work where you are too scared to speak up?

Do you have an idea that could positively impact your team, but you are holding back?

If so, speak up. 

It’s your job as a leader.

Yes, leadership takes courage.

Yes, speaking up takes courage.

But what is the consequence of not advocating for your idea or career?

Vanessa Judelman

Vanessa Judelman is an author, coach, and sought-after leadership expert. Over the past 20 years, she has created a proven formula to develop results-oriented leaders who feel empowered and confident in their job. Vanessa is the author of Mastering Leadership: What It Takes to Lead in Today’s Fast-Paced World. Order your copy here.

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