the Art of Positioning - Upside Thinking

As a child, my brother wore a cloak of invisibility and pretended that no one could see him.

He donned his superpowers and lived life as the invisible boy for hours at a time.

Flying around the room with a towel-cape wrapped around his neck, he would shout out things like, “But you can’t see me…” and we would all laugh.  the Art of Positioning - Upside Thinking

While that sounds like fun for a kid, there’s nothing worse than feeling invisible as a leader.

It’s awful to recognize you have a mission and a big vision, want to be a leader worth following, yet feel as if you’re not being seen, heard, or recognized for the work you’re doing.

And, it often seems as if everyone else around you is living out their purpose and calling and enjoying their life.

To feel unnoticed or unwanted never feels good, especially when you’ve been given certain gifts, abilities, talents, and experiences to make a bigger difference. And, you recognize that the world needs your product or service – your brilliance.

I used to feel like that.


As if I had so much wisdom and knowledge that would benefit others if only they were able to hear or see me.

This is when I began studying the art of positioning.

Positioning is different than simply being visible.

In 1981, Jack Trout wrote a best-selling book with co-author Al Ries entitled, “Positioning – The Battle for Your Mind.”

In the book, the authors define positioning as “an organized system for finding a window in the mind……” (2001 edition)

Using your personality will help you craft positioning statements that can open the doors (or Trout’s “windows”) to bigger opportunities because your personality makes you special.

The more you use what comes naturally to you the easier it is to be authentic, shine uniquely, and be seen as the expert you are in your area of expertise.

Regardless of whether there are others who have your same job description, no one has your unique set of experiences, circumstances, and talents.

There is only one YOU!

I spend a ½ day talking about this at my annual Design Your Destiny Live leadership event, and I include examining and debunking the thoughts that prevent us from using positioning statements and standing on a bigger platform to have a wider reach.

Thoughts and beliefs such as:

  • Don’t brag.
  • Nobody likes a show-off.
  • Who do you think you are?

I used to listen to these messages too.

Today these unconscious messages may cause you to struggle with positioning yourself and standing out.

Positioning oneself may be confused with the image of being arrogant or self-important.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

If no one can see your unique talents, you are unlikely to get the opportunity to use them to help others.

Positioning is thoughtful and strategic. It is a way to remind others of your value rather than hiding your achievements and unique accomplishments.  Positioning is actually allowing yourself to be seen.

Believe you’re the very best at what you do. It’s the best you do and how you do it. That is not egotistical— especially when you share it with humanity and vulnerability and strength.

So, if you want to be fully seen, heard, and recognized for your gifts, abilities, talents, and experiences, you need the art of positioning.

It’s time to put away the invisibility cloak. 

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The Upside Challenge of the week is to identify where are you wearing the invisibility cloak. Examine what your unique strengths, qualities, and experiences are. These qualify you to believe you are the best at what you do. Practice standing in that truth. How do you show up differently when you hold that new belief? What actions naturally flow from that stand?

Shine brightly.

The world needs you and your brilliance.

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