In an interesting meeting recently, I was taken aback by a comment thrown out accross the table. 

One of the participants said  "so, you're telling us you're the rock star" in anything but a complementary way.  In fact, it was scornfully said in response to an outline of accomplishments and initiatives the team member had presented. 

Wow!  We've all been there in that cringe - worthy moment when you realize you're  auditioning to play in the wrong band.  That no matter what killer riffs you play, what accolades you've received, what your following is, if the band leader doesn't like your style.... that maybe you're standing on the wrong stage.

 The  team member looked like a deer in the headlights trying to formulate the correct answer with no help forthcoming from the others in the meeting. 

So watching this, and thinking about it in hindsight, I think  instead of letting the rock star comment humiliate and demean the contributions made to the team and organization, how about turning it around and saying, Yes, actually,  I am a rock star.

 And make sure you are visible for the value you bring as that rock star; 

  1. Quantify and verify your specialist skills with examples. What is it  above the general skills that you bring? Don't be shy - this is the time to speak out.
  2. Build your network so it is a collaborative effort to ramp up the value of the team.  This is the sharing part - alliances are not just for "Survivor". Trust and respect are the glue that hold (the band) the team together. Of course, you have to have a signal strong enough to build a network on.... 
  3. Document your part in achieving not only the common goals of the team, but personal goals and innovation you bring. Track your accomplishments and file them in your portfolio to present as hard evidence to prove the great job you have done. 
  4. In order to be visible you need to ensure others see your work.  If there is no feedback to your project submissions and initiatives, follow up to see if in fact anyone has even bothered to look at them. You can do the best work, but if no one sees it, and attributes it to you, your value is, well.....marked down while the other team members' accomplishments are highlighted front and center. Ensure your work is presented in a professional format, mistake free, meaningful way and you will be noticed. 
  5. Remember, you need to prove your value to the industry.  Stay updated and current, be specific about praise to your rock star team colleagues and leaders, and navigate carefully through the backstage cords and loops that can trip you and make you fail.  And if your value isn't in being a rock star with this band, remember - there's more than one song to sing.  
Part of building community as a leader is to encourage people to not only take responsibility for their work, but to take credit for it as well.  This contributes to the sucess and overall objectives of the team and the organization, and if we become an autocratic culture of power that lacks the grace to acknowledge and recognize  our various team members' contributions based on entrenched bias, our value dimishes greatly overall.   Rock on!!