It’s far too easy to be status quo. You don’t have to do much. You watch what others do, and you follow along. You even start saying the same things, making the same excuses.
Here are comments heard from those merely going through the motions:
- “That wasn’t my fault. I did my part!”
“I’m going to do just enough to stay on the payroll.”
“Our leadership team is incompetent – and stupid!”
“I’m going to take advantage of all the benefits, and quit right after that.”
A small-minded approach will follow you forever. It’s much better to assume responsibility, and become accountable for the work assigned to you. Before you can become someone different, you have to think differently.
#1: Know that change begins with you.
It’s imperative that you are prepared for future challenges. To do that, learn the skills necessary to succeed in your organization. Most companies today offer training opportunities. You must find the time to attend as many of these learning sessions as you can, even it some take place off-site or after work.
If you are not prepared, you will look foolish when the opportunity presents itself. If you know that Lean Management or ITIL are hot in your organization, find the time to learn more about these methodologies. Don’t sit still.
#2: Avoid blaming anyone for your shortfalls.
Even when someone else contributes to your failure, avoid blaming that person. You undoubtedly have met an unreasonable manager, or a poor performing team member. Regardless of how those individuals might affect your work, you must learn to overcome the obstacles.
You have the feeling that a manager doesn’t like you, and will do whatever possible to hold you back. Do your work, meet your deadlines, and keep a professional approach. As soon as possible, find a new department or organization in which you are appreciated. Do what you can control.
#3: Praise at every opportunity.
Even when you are not a manager, make sure that you praise those who do good work. It’s important that you are specific with your kind words, such as:
- “Tim, I appreciate the excellent financials you provided for my meeting. They added a ton of value. Thank you!”
“Debbie, I shared your ideas with the marketing department, and they were impressed. I’m sure they will be asking you for more information.”
“Alan, there is no doubt that you made that sales presentation a success. You were able to address the tough questions from their IT team. Awesome!”
Your praise is more effective when it is specific. By telling others how much you appreciate them and their work, you place yourself on the leadership track.
The most successful people in your organization understand the importance of accountability. In addition, they focus on the big issues and have a clear idea regarding the cause-and-effect of decision-making.
To join the upwardly mobile group, you must be prepared for the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. In some cases, you will have the skills necessary to tackle the issue and, in other situations, you will lack the knowledge. Regardless, you must be willing to assume some level of risk, and do whatever possible to realize success.