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Val Wright To Women In Tech: ‘Be Brilliant At Demonstrating Your Brilliance’

'You can have amazing results, but if you're not talking about those results, you become unknown, you become the best-kept secret,' says Val Wright, author and innovation consultant, at the Women of the Channel Leadership Summit East.

The differentiating factor that sets apart outstanding products, services and companies is not how good the technology is nor what's happening with the competition. It's how individual leaders lead.

That’s the advice from Val Wright, an author and innovation consultant who previously worked for Microsoft and Amazon.

“You do that by being 'thoughtfully ruthless' with how you manage your time, your energy and your resources,” said Wright, author of the business growth book, “Thoughtfully Ruthless: The Key to Exponential Growth.”

Women spend a lot of time being concerned about work/life balance and time management, Wright said during a talk Wednesday about how women can increase their power of influence to help advance their careers.

“All of those things are extra capacity that you have that you can unlock, if you are intentional and thoughtful about when you're ruthless—and ruthless about when you're thoughtful—about how you're spending your time and energy,” Wright said at The Channel Company’s Women of the Channel Leadership Summit East in New York City. “Being thoughtfully ruthless frees you up to think strategically about how you influence. Thinking about what your resistance levels are in your organization also is critically important.”

When trying to increase one’s influence, Wright advised conference-goers not to directly target the “influence bull’s-eyes”—the “power influencers” or people who control the success of their projects, be it those who control budgets, can say no to their ideas, or control the keys to their careers.

“What I challenge you with is not going directly after those power influencers, but thinking about who talks in their ear, who advises those three people,” Wright said. “Those are what I call amplifiers, and an amplifier will either amplify good news, amplify not great news or may not have an opinion. You will get far more success if you get that ring of people around those influencers.”

And to be a successful leader, it’s not enough to just be brilliant—you have to be your own amplifier, according to Wright.

“You have to be brilliant at demonstrating your brilliance,” she said. “You can have amazing results, but if you're not talking about those results, you become unknown, you become the best-kept secret.”

Wright left attendees with three ways that they can improve the probability of enacting change.

“The first is you have to write down what you're going to do,” she said. “If you write down your action from today ... you will improve the probability you will actually do it. Want to further improve the probability? You tell somebody else. The final way you improve the probability is you take action in the next 24 hours. If you don't take action in the next 24 hours, research says you're probably not ever going to make the change.”

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