Blowing one’s own trumpet isn’t that bad after all…

    No one person can be good at anything and everything.

    But yes, everyone is good at least one thing.

    In today’s competitive world, everyone is trying to be the ‘Jack of all trades’ and no one wants to be ‘the master of none’.

    When we are young, we are often taught the importance of being humble and grounded. We are taught not to boast about one’s accomplishments every now and then. Yes, if the situation demands – say your boss during a job interview, specifically asks you to list down some of your past achievements or if a person you have just been introduced to, has read one of your very popular publications and wants to know where and for whom you have worked for earlier and about your upcoming write ups, you may of course make a few mention. Otherwise, talking about one’s own capabilities and accomplishments was/is a strict no-no.

    But picture this – you work for a company and have been given an assignment by your boss on which a few of your other co-workers are also working. You come up with an innovative idea which improves or lends help in the functioning, design or even the viability of the project. Later, your boss calls all of you a to his cabin to have a heads up on the project work and you all unanimously say the project work is going on well and that so and so methodology has been employed. Now your boss will not know who came up with the idea of a new technique unless someone explicitly credits you for it and if you have co-workers who are a little jealous of you or see any compliments paid to you as a progression of your career and a digression of theirs - you could never really expect your boss to know about your lateral thinking capabilities.

    In such a situation it is essential to let your superiors (in this case in the presence of your coworkers) know what is your contribution specifically to a given successful task completion. This is not really boasting but plainly stating (without sounding vain) the facts relating to your capability (which your boss may not know) which may get camouflaged by other obvious details.

    But I always remind my students at Athena, not to mix up blowing one’s own trumpet with taking credit for something you have not done. That’s cheating.

    Blow your own trumpet but in doing so demonstrate the accomplishments which are truly your own. This is something we reiterate at Athena School of Management.

    My suggestion to all you young minds aspiring to be future leaders is that you sometimes need to blow your own trumpet but make sure it is not from the roof tops and at an irrelevant time but in a subtle manner at an opportune time.

    - Prof. Anwesha Ghosh (Athena School of Management - Powai)