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Success statements show employers how you’ve added value at work

Learning to craft success statements and communicate them to executives will be key to your next project or promotion. Learn more.

4 min read


Image illustrating success statements

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The process of creating success statements is to craft short pitches that accurately and positively portray the value you bring to your organization. These statements effectively highlight your skill set to those above you.

In my presentation “Reputations are Built on Perception,” I discuss the process of creating your success statement and the importance of both practicing and continually refining what you need to say. You need to be ready when the opportunity arises.

Start documenting your success statements today! Create a file on your computer, cloud or even your phone if it will help you get to it regularly. You can download a blank copy of this accomplishment template.

Here are tips on how to take your success statements to the next level.

Demonstrate an ability to get results

You may need to prepare a few success statements to use, depending on your audience. Think about the senior leadership you might have an opportunity to talk to, and what sort of results they would consider the most compelling.

Create your statements to match their interests.

  • Do they focus on the bottom line? Talk about revenue lines or margins you’ve increased, or operational costs you and your team have helped to reduce.
  • Are they tuned in to the workforce at your organization? Highlight your people management skills, team dynamic, improved interdepartmental relations, or increased employee retention.
  • Know a certain process is a pain point for one executive? Mention the ways you’ve worked toward streamlining or reducing havoc in that area of the business.

Demonstrate executive-level communication skills

Having coached thousands of senior leaders over the last two decades, I can tell you what they are looking for in leadership talent. They are looking for that spark, that desire to connect with others that they themselves bring to the table.

You don’t have to be a dynamic extrovert to share a keen ability to communicate. Top leaders are seeking a certain executive presence that demonstrates poise and gravitas — a calm and confident way of landing in the moment with both the ability to listen and the skill and knowledge to make a decision.

Highlight your ability to speak clearly and with confidence in any situation. They’re not looking for a know-it-all, they’re looking for a weather-it-all; someone who can wade into chaos and help bring order and reassurance to a team no matter what the turmoil.

Demonstrate a team mindset

That brings me to another key element of a success statement: team mindset. More and more, organizations have realized that great leaders aren’t necessarily the ones who speak the loudest or speak up first, unless they are also doing so in service to their team. Great leaders know how to support their team, remove barriers, share praise, highlight accomplishments and generally help everyone do the best job possible.

The era of big personalities, fixated on personal glory and attention is fading into history. If you want to be considered for promotions in the modern landscape, you need to cultivate and demonstrate a team mindset.

Demonstrate critical thinking

If you have great ideas on how to increase sales or improve efficiency, be sure to create clear and succinct pitches you can use in the moment to share your thoughts with leadership.

Executives are looking for ingenious, motivated individuals eager to make a difference. If you know ways the company could achieve more, it’s critical to organize your thoughts so they can be efficiently conveyed. Working and refining may be even more necessary for these types of success statements, because you’ll want to be sure your message is clear and easily understood.

It can be challenging to dive into talking about yourself, but I hope these suggestions will set you on a solid path to designing and refining your success statements. Remember that self-promotion is key in getting ahead, even when you have the best track record and great advocates speaking for you.

Get used to making the most of every opportunity you have to demonstrate your value to your company. It will be key to your next project or promotion.

As an executive coach, Joel Garfinkle is recognized as one of the top 50 coaches in the U.S. He provides webinar trainings and virtual coaching sessions to help employees achieve higher levels of leadership. Garfinkle is the author of 11 books, including “Getting Ahead.” Subscribe to his Fulfillment at Work Newsletter which is delivered to over 10,000 people. You can view his video library of over 150+ easily actionable two-minute inspirational video clips by subscribing to his YouTube channel.

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