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For every new thing you take on, there’s a set of skills that will help you master that new thing. When you start anything new, you might not do so well at first. That’s probably because you haven’t mastered the skills required for what you’re trying to do. Oftentimes, though, the skills we need to master to do well at work are “hidden skills.” This is something I call “The In Between the Lines Game.” I call it that because most of the “hidden skills” don’t appear in the job description, and yet they’re as crucial to success as all of the tasks you will find listed.

This is the challenge for most people trying to get into leadership roles. Every single day I hear someone say, “I believe that my work should stand on its own,” or some variation of this line. Every. Single. Day. Here’s the thing: your work doesn’t stand on its own. In 99.9% of cases, people didn’t become leaders because their work spoke for itself. People become leaders by learning all the hidden skills of artful self-promotion (I said ARTFUL, *not* smarmy self-promotion, okay?), building smart and strategic relationships, intentionally building out that executive brand, and knowing how and when to speak up in meetings…and so much more. If you’re not getting to the next level in your career, then the likely reason is this set of hidden skills you haven’t yet mastered.

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