Success Matters: #17 October 2009
Bragging is NOT Shameless Self-Promotion
Be Prepared [to brag] When Opportunity Knocks!
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Gerrie Dresser,
The Leadership Strategist / Executive Coach for Mid-Career Leaders and Leadership Teams . . .

Coaching you to articulate your unique value, stand out IN a crowd, and create sustainable career success!

Conversations and strategies about how to stand out IN a crowd and create sustainable success while making a difference through high impact contributions.

A Message from Gerrie


One of the most frequent reasons that people DON’T stand out IN a crowd is their awkwardness with what they perceive to be ‘bragging’.  It’s ALWAYS much more effective if the third party, like your boss, sings your praises, isn’t it?

Yes, but . . . . Wouldn’t you miss a lot of opportunities to be appreciated for your value if you relied on a third party?

You may be resistant to bragging in a casual conversation, the time when it’s MOST effective to share some of your achievements.  So, I researched the topic and discovered that there is actually a definition for ‘bragging rights’ in the Merriam Webster dictionary.  It is “entitlement to boast about something.”

So, if Merriam Webster defines it, you must be ‘entitled’ to boast about something.  Humor me and read further.

Since we are referring to your ‘unique genius’ in a leadership role, let’s narrow our focus to bragging about your professional accomplishments . . . When are you entitled to boast and how? 

One of the keys to sustainable success is being KNOWN!  Bragging expert, Peggy Klaus writes in her book, if you don’t SPEAK up or you keep your head down because you believe the myth, that you will be recognized for a job well done, it often leads to others taking credit for YOUR idea, you being under-appreciated, or missing out on opportunities in the ‘hidden job market’.

Do you avoid bragging at all costs OR go to the other extreme?  Elegant and authentic bragging starts with your own feeling of self-worth and being able to articulate it so that others recognize and appreciate your value!

Learn more about bragging and preparedness in the feature article!  Remember to schedule time for YOU to complete the Coaching Exercise and identify your ‘boasting style’!

Have fun bragging with elegance and authenticity, %$firstname$%.


P.S. – Watch for more information about the Unique Genius Virtual Café, starting in November!

P.P.S. – See the SPECIAL OFFER for my Subscribers that will help you to be PREPARED when the opportunity [to brag] knocks.


Special News

Hot off the Press!

The Unique Genius Virtual Café is being launched in November . . .

Many of you have asked for a way to stay connected and be in dialogue about leadership, career strategies, industry trends, and real life success stories.  I hear about many people who have mastered the ‘hidden job market’, and there are equally as many people who would benefit from their wisdom and strategies.

It’s interesting about how this idea got started.  One morning, a colleague and I had a phone conversation.  She ended the call, “Thanks for the ‘cup of coffee’ with Gerrie.”  Thus, the concept of a monthly ‘virtual café’ was born.

What is MOST important is that it aligns with YOUR needs, so my questions to you are . . .

  • What do YOU want to hear, i.e., what would be most valuable for YOU that would compel you to join our Café conversation?
  • What ‘experts’ would you value hearing speak?
  • Would you want an open microphone segment when the ‘coach’ (that’s me) responds to previously submitted question, ASK the Coach segment? 
  • What time would be the best for you … Lunchtime?  Evening about 7:15? 

The logistics are challenging because your schedules are very dynamic, and you have many, many pressing issues.

At this point, I am leaning towards a Monday Noon Café.  There are professional association meetings on Tuesday and Thursday evenings that would be a scheduling conflict for many of you.  Our Monday Virtual Café may be just what you need to jump start your week.

Send me your thoughts and interests, and watch for a special invitation in early November!

By the way, have you visited our newly redesigned website?  Click here

Many thanks to my website / graphic designer, Lynn Pupek (LKP Creative) for her attention to detail, overall project management, creative talents, and aligning everything for a consistent look to the ‘brand’.

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Speaking Events!

To celebrate the message about ‘Unique Genius’, organizations are sponsoring speaking events to share the ‘5 Secrets’ for sustainable success to their clients and members!

There are many other speaking events being planned, so watch for upcoming events in future Success Matters broadcasts.

  • PUBLIC EVENT! December 4, 2009: The 5 Secrets to Sustainable Success . . . Who Knows YOU and What You Do WELL?
  • Sponsor:   Penn State Great Valley, “Lunch In Focus Event”
    Location:  30 East Swedesford Road, Malvern, PA 19355

    Includes a F*REE lunch so registration is required.  Watch for my special invitation with the registration link.  Check back on this PSU GV link to register:

    NOTE: space is limited, so you want to sign up quickly!

Would you like to inspire your organization to discover the ‘5 Secrets’ about ‘Unique Genius’ for greater focus, productivity, and sustainable success?

Click on the link for Gerrie’s website to learn more about her speaking:

Phone:  610-429-0359

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Feature Article:
Bragging is NOT Shameless Self-Promotion
Be Prepared [to brag] When Opportunity Knocks!

Bragging can be as simple as introducing yourself to someone on the elevator.  It’s a behavior that sold me on accepting a position with company B where I worked for over 10 years.

  • In company A where I worked previously, there was NO conversation on the elevator.
  • When I interviewed at company B for a new position, people greeted me in the reception area and engaged in conversation with me on the elevator.  Although I was thrilled about the career opportunity, it was the friendliness about the people that sold me on the company.

Bragging can also be as simple as asking other people to join you for lunch.  It’s a way of saying, “I enjoy your company and would like to learn more about you and what you do.”  You are creating the social setting to boast in a conversational way that impresses others far more than a formal ‘pitch’ about your accomplishments.

So, you can see.  It’s NOT about being a shameless self-promoter.  It’s about building relationships, collaborating to support each other’s success, and extending yourself to others.  You know, in the dynamic business world, if you downplay your successes or, worse yet, allow others to take credit for your achievements, without speaking up, you will be passed over for promotions and undervalued by your boss, peers, and key stakeholders.

One client strongly resisted extending herself, and then realized that bragging is not a choice, it’s a necessity.  So she reluctantly went to the company café for coffee in the morning with the intention of being more social and making connections.  Much to her surprise, she met a few colleagues from other departments and learned about new developments that directly impacted her projects.

In fact, she discovered that bragging is based on the principles of making friends and championing each other’s success.  Of course, she did her homework and was prepared to casually boast about her achievements at the appropriate time.  She mastered bragging so effectively and elegantly that she was recently appointed to a highly recognized leadership team.

Casual ‘bragging’ takes preparation, and one of the most important preparation steps is to SPEAK IT!  Yes, that means say it out loud to a few trusted peers.

I recently attended an event, “Hiring Tips in 30 Minutes”, and the speaker invited volunteers to respond to frequently asked interview questions in front of the audience.  Because the volunteers SPOKE their accomplishments, they received an enthusiastic round of applause from the audience AND they could ‘product test’ their responses before officially taking it on the road.  The reluctant volunteers received valuable feedback, a great ROI for their courage.

Being prepared to brag with elegance and authenticity is another one of the ‘uniqueness factors’ that impact sustainable success.   

Coaching Exercise

Below are two statements with companion coaching questions to help you identify your bragging style and where to invest your time in preparing to brag with elegance and authenticity so that your achievements are appreciated and recognized.

1.  I concisely articulate and communicate my value statement in a compelling, conversational way that describes what I do at my highest level of accomplishment.

     How would you rate yourself on the following statements?
            1 = Rarely            2 = Sometimes            3 = Frequently

  • I concisely articulate my value in a conversational way in the appropriate setting so that it is heard and appreciated.
  • My high impact contributions represent my capabilities at the highest level of achievement.
  • It’s effortless for me to sell myself without sounding like a sales pitch.  

2.  When I share my unique value proposition with others, they are intrigued with the uniqueness and continue to inquire about more information.

Since it is often much easier to identify these behaviors in others, I’ve included a few questions to raise your awareness about what it looks like in others who you admire and respect.

  • What is an example of someone bragging about their ‘unique value proposition’ in a way that impressed you and you recognized the value that they contribute?
  • What was it about their ‘unique value proposition’ that stood out for you? Was it their …

    • Overall Delivery, i.e., professional dress, handshake, emotional presence
    • Highly engaging content
    • Confidence in their value
    • Enthusiasm and conversational style that engaged the other person to continue the conversation

Now that you’ve identified a few key behaviors in others, you can see that it IS possible to brag with elegance!

Where do you feel entitled to boast?  If you don’t feel prepared, schedule some time for YOU to begin mapping out your ‘bragologue’, a term coined by Peggy Klaus, the author of BRAG!

SPECIAL OFFER for SUBSCRIBERS! Because so many people need to BE PREPARED, I am offering a package of 3-5 coaching sessions to laser focus on your brand-driven resume.

Typically, a coaching partnership is designed to achieve your big-stretch goals over a 6 month (often longer) period.  However, this is a new service that I decided to offer, based on my subscriber’s need.

If you would like more information, drop me an email at with ‘brand driven resume’ in the Subject.

Gerrie Recommends

BRAG! The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It.  Author, Peggy Klaus.  Published, Warner Business Books Hardcover, May 21, 2003.

“Klaus’ proven techniques help readers overcome the common misperceptions of bragging to sell themselves without feeling or sounding like a walking billboard. “People either avoid bragging because they don’t know how to do it gracefully, or they attempt to sell themselves like a PowerPoint presentation,  making those on the receiving end want to hide,” Klaus writes. Filled with personal and professional self-promotion dilemmas and solutions, BRAG! teaches readers how to put their best foot forward—while keeping it out of their mouths!”

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‘Unique Genius’™ Coaching

Coaching is a confidential partnership between you, the Client, and your Coach to help you achieve your next level of success faster and with greater focus and clarity.

Gerrie delivers high impact individual and team coaching through the Unique Genius™ Coaching Model. As a result, her clients get UNSTUCK and . . .

  • Articulate their value with confidence and authenticity and get known as a credible expert.
  • Navigate the corporate landscape with more savvy.
  • Negotiate new opportunities and leverage today’s successes for longer range strategic goals.

If you are serious about standing out IN a crowd and creating sustainable success, contact Gerrie for your 30 minute exploratory consultation at

Gerrie Dresser is an ICF credentialed Professional Certified Coach (PCC) and practical, innovative career strategist and thought leader.

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