I was recently at a Chamber conference and heard the old saying, “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu!” We all got a chuckle, but it really made me think about why people are asked to be at the table in the first place. What makes someone the kind of person who gets invited to the table? I asked some key people in my business circles and this is what they had to say:

To make sure you always have a place at the table, whether that’s social, work, leadership or otherwise, ask if yourself if you’re demonstrating the types of characteristics of those who are sought after. If you’re not, then get out of your own way and start making changes today!

Ask yourself these questions: How have I demonstrated my strengths and capabilities? Are my communications skills, written and oral, as proficient as they should be? Do I have the ability to engage others and get things done? Have I established a strong personal brand of presence and competence?

If you answered no to any of these questions, you may be your own worst enemy. In today’s business world, you’re either moving up or moving out, so be sure to take the proper steps to always keep moving onward and upward. How do you do this? One of the best ways is to engage three mentors, one within your organization, one within your industry, and one completely outside of both, all with unique (and candid) insights on your core strengths and weaknesses. Another way is to profile the leaders you wish to model and then identify the gaps of your current abilities and where you would like to be in the future.


How are you staying off of the menu?