Welcome to Part 4 in our series.
Today, we will discuss the third way on my list which is to Know what is important to your company.
This is important for anyone wanting to be successful within an organization, but exceptionally important to someone wanting to leap ahead in the ranks, particularly at a rapid pace. You see, by knowing what is important to your company, you can establish yourself as someone who is knowledgeable and capable in that area. Whether it is a specific project, a new venture, or some other initiative, by knowing what is important to the company, you can strategically put yourself in a key position of influence and become a point person in that area. This could lead to be a team captain, project coordinator, or some other important leadership role.
By being aware of what is important to your organization, and by strategically placing yourself as a “Go to” person for all things involving this key area of the business, you are placed in a position of influence and exposure you might not normally be able to find. This could provide you experience leading teams, development of your responsibility skill sets, and gives you ever important visibility to key organizational leaders. All of which are key strategic components to positioning yourself for that ever-important promotion.
There are a few other important components with knowing what is important to your company. For instance, your company’s leadership invests a great deal of time, energy, and money into communicating to the organization what the goals of the company are. These are usually based on key strategic initiatives, and often reflect some significant investment on behalf of the company. If you can be one of the evangelists of that project, initiative, or focus of the organization, it will immediately get the attention of key leadership. This is something they are looking for, who is going to run with this new focus and can I count on them to support the company goals.
Another component with knowing what is important to your company, is that as a company rolls out something new, often this represents a significant investment of time and capital. When a company makes such investments, they want to support and protect those investments, by putting their best people on the job. This usually leads to some type of promotion opportunity to head up this new project. Even if it is only a lateral move initially, if it is a large investment, rest assured the individuals who are important to the success of a key initiative will most assuredly benefit from such an endeavor.
Now, there are a few other things to consider with this approach to getting that next promotion. For one, often when there is a transition such as this, it requires a company to change or adapt their focus. Meaning, that many people will be asked to change their current focus to what is perceived as the new important goal. And, this will likely be perceived as disruptive, as many people don’t like to change, particularly if they don’t see the direct initial benefit. This can make it difficult for someone who may not be in a role, or even if they are only in a junior role, of leadership trying to demonstrate their intent and passion to support the new initiative without seeming to be a “Yes-Man (or woman)”.
Being perceived as someone who just follows the initiatives to gain favor of leadership is not an ideal place to be, so doing so must be done strategically and will require some tact on your part. Be prepared to get some pushback, but be consistent in your efforts as this is the best way for you to position yourself for key opportunities in an organization. Remember, the initial pushback from the field when there are substantial changes, are to be expected, but are often necessary. As someone who spent the better part of 25 years leading teams through organizational change, this is one of the most important roles of a leader. The changes are necessary for the company to grow and adapt, so the people of the organization must adapt accordingly. Meaning, the longer it takes to make the necessary changes, the costlier the endeavor becomes. By being someone who can impact those changes sooner gains you favor and makes you a “Hero” in the organization.
Knowing what is important to your company is one of the most crucial factors to getting that next promotion. So, invest your time into understanding what’s in it for the people you most closely work with and help them see the value and importance of these changes. This will pay dividends when you are asked why you are supporting these changes. But more importantly, it will help others see that you are not only supporting the new initiative, but have invested time in helping others see the value and benefits for everyone involved. Sometimes that is simply, “Hey, if we don’t adapt, the company may fail”, which is not too uncommon in business these days. Such an approach will certainly get the attention of those who you need to impress to earn that next promotion.
Lastly, in closing, I will add that 2018 will most certainly be another year of change for several different companies. As the internet becomes a bigger component of all business and international competition continues to grow, companies will need to find ways to be competitive, or risk becoming irrelevant. Change has always been a key ingredient in growth for companies, the challenge is that it is just happening faster than ever before, and people who can lead an organization through critical changes will be even more valuable than ever!
Thanks for reading, have a phenomenal week and we’ll touch base soon with Part 5.