I was recently with a client whose star power in his career is rising. He’s the young hot shot at the company who was recruited from another firm and is now settling in at the new one. He’s watching his P’s and Q’s, and learning the ins and outs of what makes a successful executive at his new firm.

One of the things that he’s required to do is to speak at meetings and at conferences. For some reason, the thought of that just absolutely terrifies him. Although he had done it in his previous career, he’s now facing a whole new set of rules in an unfamiliar territory. He wants to appear knowledgeable and comfortable, yet feels he has a lot to learn before he officially arrives there in reality.

I shared with him that part of the reason he was recruited was to ADD a fresh new perspective to the company who hired him. They don’t expect him to know everything about THEM yet, but to show the leadership skills as a professional that will help lead the new team. And part of that is to jump on board and be willing to learn what it is going to take to help make the company successful.

We looked at all of the skills that he brought to the table. He’s got expertise in his career field, and he has brought in many new clients over the course of his career. He’s a likeable guy, creative and good at understanding people. With these characteristics, we were able to start constructing a “message” that he will be able to bring to his company, throughout the next several months.

He shared with me that he really believes that each person has something to offer to the company that can be creative and innovative. He enjoys spending personal time with those he manages to get to know them personally, and believes that when employees feel valued, they are more likely to be loyal and to work hard on your behalf. With that in mind, we planned a series of meetings that he’ll conduct with his new team. We brainstormed about different topics that will bring extra value to his team, and to his company at large, and he’s now preparing about 10 different “messages” based on his own strengths and what he believes this company needs. The “messages” are short, but effective. He’ll share a few stories from individuals he admires like Jack Welch and Bill Gates and historical characters like Thomas Jefferson.

His style is motivational, so he’ll sprinkle his conversation with his team with quotes, and he’ll challenge the team to consider these messages and how they can apply to their own strategies at work.

In regards to his “image” with the powers that be, his strategy is to show up to every meeting prepared, with something of value to share, and to provide content to the others about strategies, ideas, concepts, research or anything that might be able to help move this company forward. He’s willing to put in the extra time now, to prepare a bit for the future.

Working with this client has brought anticipation to both of us, and an eagerness to reach out and to work hard to do the job right. When we get on the phone, we brainstorm the possibilities as well as address the hurdles set before him.

Having someone to speak with about displaying your strengths at work is important. It gives the person a strategy to follow and a map to guide them. With an attitude and work ethic like this, how can he do anything but succeed?