Why eating pie makes you do better at work

PIE – Performance, Image, Exposure

OK, so it’s not about eating pie.

P-I-E stands for:

  • Performance
  • Image
  • Exposure

In 1996, an author called Harvey Coleman came up with this model to give a clear and actionable view on how to get ahead at work. This was first brought to my attention by Nick Clench – an executive coach (check him out, he’s awesome.)

P – Performance – 10%

“Doing your job well only gets you 10% of the way there”

How many times have you heard someone complain about not getting recognition for what they achieve at work? As a manager/leader, I hear this quite a lot.

Whilst it may seem fundamentally unfair, it is true. You need to think beyond your performance in your job if you want to get ahead.

However, you might notice the way I’ve built the pyramid above (hint hint Maslow’s Heirachy) with performance sitting as the foundation stone. This is by design, as you must ensure that you are performing in your role, otherwise the other areas of focus will not mean anything.

I – Image – 30%

“Your image helps you to differentiate yourself”

I like to think of this as your personal brand. This is how you differentiate yourself from the competition. This is what makes people think of you when they think about your business area.

It’s quite difficult to define how to improve this, but I’ve always preferred people with a positive mental attitude, who lead with solutions, who take ownership, who offer support and challenge.

So I would take a moment and think about how your personal brand comes across. Be honest with yourself, and look for ways you could improve it. Some ideas:

  • Positivity UP – negativity – DOWN
  • Look for and provide pragmatic solutions
  • Show a geniune interest in other people
  • Be credible and consistent, however show flexibility

Exposure – 60%

“Are you known, are you seen, are you sponsored?”

The big one. If you believe Mr Coleman, this is where you should really be spending your time. Who knows you, and what you do? Does your boss know what you do? Does their boss know you and what you do? Do others inside and outside your organisation know anything about you?

If you answer no to these questions, then it’s probably time for a fresh approach. Without colleagues knowing who you are, you have limited chance to maximise any opportunities that might be available.

Why not try the following:

  • Volunteer for stuff
  • Work on an elevator pitch for when you find yourself next to the CEO in a coffee queue
  • Find a senior mentor
  • And finally – get out there!

I hope this has been useful, let me know if you have any thoughts or challenges to this approach.

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