The P.I.E. Theory of Success – Performance, Image, Exposure

You need more than great performance to get ahead!

All through school we were told that the way to be successful was to work hard and keep your head down.  According to Harvey J. Coleman, author of “Empowering Yourself, The Organizational Game Revealed”, that may not be enough to get that next promotion. It appears that performance is only 10% of the consideration for promotion.  Image and Exposure make up the remaining 90%.  Here is the breakdown:

Performance P.I.E Chart

10% – You must perform exceptionally well.

To receive the next promotion, you must be at the top of your game.  Be sure you have a performance plan which you work through with your manager.  This plan should contain objectives you will meet during the year and should be specific, measurable, and directly tied to the bottom line of the organization.  You should also make sure that there is a degree of difficulty involved to ensure your manager knows you are capable of more responsibility.  If you are having difficulty during the year, be sure to ask for help or clarification because remember, your next promotion is on the line.  Well, at least 10%!


30% – Cultivate the proper image.

First-class work may get you a ticket for admission to the Promotion Meeting, but you are not there yet.  As we are learning, great performance is not enough.  Next, you must manage your image.  This includes things like verbal and non-verbal communication, dress, facial hair, teamwork, and attitude.  You must look and act the part of your next promotion.  What does your boss wear on “Casual Fridays”?  How does your boss display disagreement?  Look throughout the organization and find a mentor.  Someone who can help you develop your image and provide feedback as to how you are viewed by others and what to do to get that next promotion. 


60% – Manage your exposure so the right people will know you.

I was once in a position as an internal consultant to the Executive Leadership Team and worked closely with the CEO.  We often visited our overseas locations to conduct business.  Before our first trip, the CEO explained to me that my role was to be seen, but not heard.  He went on to explain that I had facetime with the Executives all the time, and it was important that the international employees received that same opportunity when we were at their location.  Visibility is important.  Take advantage to lead and manage company events, organize social events, or write blogs in company newsletters.  It is also important to be visible externally.  Join a professional organization, run for office, or manage an event.  The key is to be visible to the right people, in the right manner, at the right time.


Again, you need more than great performance to get ahead!

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog – Reach out to us to learn more about P.I.E today!

Next, check out part 2 of this blog as we dive deeper into the topics in Playing the Organizational Game.

We also have a 45-minute video available for sale of The P.I.E. (Performance, Image, and Exposure) Model. This is a talk by Kuma Roberts that offers a deep dive into the proven framework for achieving career success, as highlighted in our recent blog post on the P.I.E Theory of Success. This talk provides actionable insights and tailored solutions that empower individuals to make progress in their professional journey. The link to the video: P.I.E. – Performance, Image and Exposure model. Talk by Kuma Roberts

Sign up for our newsletter to learn more about PIE and other news!