Make People THINK You’re Important

As you think about ways to boost your career to a new level and earn more prestige and recognition based on stunning contributions to Healthcare IT, perhaps you are realizing that such committed work is simply too hard.  Maybe there is an easier way to give the impression that what you do really matters and you are a professional worthy of respect — just make it LOOK that way.

Of course I am just being facetious, but my recommendation was inspired by a blog post I read recently on the “Great Leadership” website run by Dan McCarthy, Director of Executive Development Programs at the University of New Hamphire’s Whittemore School of Business and Economics.  I follow Dan’s blog regularly and learn a tremendous amount from him.  In the post I am writing about, Dan pulled together some tongue-in-cheek advice on how to LOOK important.  That being said, there’s no harm in having a little fun with the concept!

One action he suggests is practicing your pose, as assuming a bold, attention-seeking stance will not only make others believe in you, but likely will make you more self-confident.  So, puff out your chest and pretend you have those peacock feathers on display.

Or, how about McCarthy’s suggestions to fill your office with important periodicals and books or pretend you know a lot about fine arts?  People are going to take you seriously if you demonstrate that your reading choices and theater decisions are stuff of gravitas.

How about the approach of never showing up for a meeting on time, because obviously you had other important matters which needed your attention?  McCarthy mentions one woman who has a rule to arrive at every meeting twenty minutes late.  I’m not sure if this gives the impression that you are indispensably important, or just rude and not considerate of your colleagues’ and clients’ time.

Check out all ten of the recommendations listed in the post and see if there are a few things you could be doing to seem more important in 2012 🙂 !  AND after learning what not to do from Dan McCarthy’s tongue-in-cheek list….. consider my top 5 recommendations for how TO ACTUALLY BE more important:

1) Be unquestionably reliable – get your work done on time at a quality that exceeds your customers (and your boss’s) expectations, every time!

2) Be helpful – recognize when others on your team need help and give it to them without “keeping score”.  What do I mean by “keeping score”?  Essentially, be humble and don’t look for immediate recognition. If you are consistently helpful, your rewards will come.

3) Be a learner – spend time each day, week and month keeping your knowledge and skills at a place where you are viewed as a thought leader.

4) Be a networker – there is NO WAY you will  be the expert at EVERYTHING; develop and manage your network so you have access to people that know everything you need to know to get your job done.

5)  Be a giver – give back to your community.  The benefits are immeasurable.

What did I miss?  What else do you do to establish your importance?  Please share it with us all!

About the author


Joe Lavelle

Joe Lavelle is the Co-Founder of intrepidNow. Prior to that Joe was an accomplished healthcare IT executive and career coach with a record of successfully meeting the business and technology challenges of diverse organizations including health plans, health delivery networks, health care companies, and several Fortune 500 companies.

Joe is also the author of Act As If It Were Impossible To Fail, available on Amazon.


  • Joe,

    Funny post! I definitely have an opinion on the woman who is running 20 minutes late – rude, inconsiderate, and a waste of my time!

    I thought I would share a quick tip here, too that I received from an old boss of mine. Always give your first and last name as opposed to just your first. Adds that extra importance of who you are.

  • I’m still laughing at this line, “Or, how about McCarthy’s suggestions to fill your office with important periodicals and books or pretend you know a lot about fine arts?” I’ve actually been in offices where I was positive most of the books on the shelves were for show.

    Great tips! I would add one that’s simple but definitely effective – don’t slouch! I’m not advocating McCarthy’s peacock pose, but someone who stands tall and walks with confidence always gets my attention.

    Excellent tip, Cassie, as well – just sign me,

    Gwen Darling

  • Thank you so much Cassie and Gwen for adding your great tips! You guys are awesome!

    And Gwen, as I am almost completely transitioned to reading books on my iPad via Kindle software, I guess I will have to find a new way to impress :)!

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