We You all want to put our best foot forward. You want to be more than average. You desire challenges. Many of you want to be known as go-to people.
Accepting more responsibility is easier than you think. In fact, so many people turn down these opportunities, providing you with more chances to become a meaningful participating for your organization.
Before making the decision to take on more responsibility, make sure you are prepared for the consequences. Your work will change. In some cases, you will make presentations to top management, and you must be aware that their expectations are different. They are concerned about how the work translates to bottom line success.
If you are ready to accept the challenge, here is how you can become a go-to person:
#1: Get your normal work done right and on time.
You cannot become a go-to person if you are failing to meet your day-to-day requirements. It’s imperative that you become highly skilled in the work that you do. As much as possible, you want to develop processes that make you more efficient. Whenever possible, automate your tasks. If appropriate, you can delegate activities to others. Don’t forget that you are still accountable for the timeliness and quality of the final deliverable.
#2: Stop worrying about the workload.
Top performers do not care about how much work they are doing. Becoming a go-to person means that you are prepared to resolve problems, manage big projects, and respond to risks.
The first step is to understand the problem or issue. Avoid diving into it without first knowing the root cause. Second, take the time identify the key stakeholders. Third, create an action plan, and ensure that you have the most qualified people on the team. You will need to create the momentum. Avoid expecting others to take the lead.
#3: Be prepared to create your own roadmap.
The work assigned to go-getters is generally complex, requiring a different perspective. For example, you are given the following assignment: Determine why products sales have decreased the last three months in Georgia and Florida. There are many factors to consider here: the problem can be related to poor quality, inadequate sales training, lackluster economic conditions, friction in the supply chain, lack of leadership support, or a combination of these factors.
For many high-level projects there is no plan or roadmap. It’s your responsibility to determine the best approach. You will need to get buy-in from the main stakeholders, and make sure that your recommendations are workable. That means that you are also part of the implementation team.
Not everyone wants to be a go-to person. This responsibility is only for the top 5% of the organization’s employees. Once you decide to assume more responsibility and accountability, you can expect bigger assignments. Even when you fall a little short here and there, your career will progress in a positive direction.
Being a difference-maker for your organization changes you as a person, too. As a big thinker, you are no longer bothered by the petty stuff that is pervasive in most work environments today. You now are focused on meeting the strategic targets that differentiate your organization from the competition. At this stage, the “go-to” title is even more applicable.