Dorie Clark wrote an article for Harvard Business Review titled How to Promote Yourself Without Looking Like a Jerk (December 22, 2014).

« when you promote yourself in the right way, it’s a win-win. Your colleagues and managers probably don’t have the time to fully understand your interests, talents, and skill set. If you can make it clear to them where you can contribute the most, you’re making their lives easier and helping the company overall. »

« focus on facts, not interpretation… if you call yourself a “social media expert” (or, heaven help us, a “guru” or “ninja”)… you risk a great deal of blowback. »

« demonstrate your expertise with stories, not words. Saying “I’m great at pitching investors” sounds pretty egotistical. But sharing a compelling tale of how you rounded up seed funding allows others to deduce your skill without having to make it explicit. Also, research has shown that when listeners are exposed to stories, many more sections of their brains light up; they’re literally immersed in the moment with you, making a far deeper impression. They may hear your words if you say you’re awesome, but telling them a story allows them to feel it for themselves. »

« ensure that those stories are relevant…  Self-promotion works best when it’s natural and unforced; you want to contribute to the conversation organically, not hog the spotlight. »

« it’s essential to express humility. »


Dorie Clark in the author of The Long Game: How to Be a Long-Term Thinker in a Short-Term World (2021) and Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future (2013).

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