Have you ever wondered how to tap Into your potential and get noticed (and promoted) at work?
If you’re brand new to the workforce, it can seem daunting and maybe even a little confusing.
By the time we graduate high school or college, we’ve been trained on what it takes to succeed in the world of education. We understand report cards, class ranks, deadlines, papers, test, and ominous group projects.
But now that we’re entering the workforce, a new career, or a completely new position, how do we get noticed when the strategies we learned in school prove ineffective?
How do we excel, climb the ranks, become a strong leader, and achieve success for the long haul?
To fully tap into your potential and get noticed, you have to become a VIP—you have to focus on these three areas: Adding VALUE, Becoming an IDEAL TEAM PLAYER, and Delivering High PERFORMANCE.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into these three effective strategies.
It has been shown that the market only pays excellent rewards for excellent results. It pays average rewards for average results. And, you guessed it! It pays below average rewards for below average results, leading to underachievement and frustration.
It’s pretty simple, really: Results = VALUE.
The better your results, the more value you provide, and the more valuable you become.
So, how do you add value? Here are three tips to get you going:
1. Go Above and Beyond
In all organizations, there are roles that get noticed and those that don’t. It can be tough to get noticed if what you are doing is not essential to the heart of your organization. Of course, every role is vital, or it wouldn’t exist to begin with.
However, the fact remains, some roles just don’t seem to be in the limelight. But here’s the good news: you can always offer to do work that is outside of your core set of responsibilities.
Try to take on assignments that draw the attention of your organization’s senior leaders. Maybe you weren’t hired to do marketing, but that shouldn’t stop you from volunteering for some marketing tasks. Sign up to write a blog or offer to manage the company’s Facebook page.
If you want to get noticed, step out of your comfort zone and beyond your job description and ask for more responsibility.
2. Always Say “Yes” to Opportunity
Richard Branson has a famous quote: “If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity, but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!”
I love this quote and attempt to live by it every day, and you should too!
At some point, someone will likely ask you to take on a special project or new responsibility. Always say “yes!” If you have been selected for one of these opportunities, it is likely that a seasoned leader is taking a chance on you.
Say yes. Take a deep breath. Then work like crazy to learn and do a good job.
You never know when another big opportunity might come along, so seize the opportunity at hand and do your absolute best. The higher exposure will often result in you getting noticed and maybe even promoted.
3. Practice “Big-Picture” Thinking and Provide Innovative Ideas
If you aspire to higher levels of your organization, the ability to think about your work in more complex terms is essential. Take the time to do some deep thinking about your projects.
- How does your work fit into the larger strategy of your organization?
- Are there nuances to your customer base that would impact how you do your job?
- What are the complex issues that your boss is evaluating as she reviews your work?
Whenever possible, exhibit the ability to think about your work and how it relates to the big picture of your organization. The leaders in your organization are looking for talented people who can deliver innovative solutions to complex problems.
They aren’t just looking for drones or “yes people,” so bring on the good ideas!
Be an IDEAL TEAM PLAYER
Have you ever heard the old saying “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
Think about that for a second.
We all like to work with other people who are courteous, right? Obviously! We don’t want to work with people who are disrespectful, condescending, or angry.
To go far in your career, you have to learn how to be an ideal team player. Here’s what you need to do:
1. Respect the Experience of Those Around and Above You.
Yes, leaders are looking for new and innovative ideas, but it won’t be every day that your idea gets put into practice. If that’s the case, don’t get discouraged. Respect their opinions and decisions.
If you feel your idea is worth fighting for, do it with facts, not emotions, and do it respectfully. Leaders respect and welcome feedback that may prevent them from making a terrible mistake, but not if the feedback comes with a negative or condescending attitude.
At the end of the day, if they still move forward in a different direction after hearing your feedback, accept and support their decision. There may be more significant things in play that you can’t see from your position within the company.
Additionally, not all good ideas come up at the right time. If your idea isn’t used, write it down and revisit it another day. After all, timing is everything!
Lastly, respect needs to be applied to your colleagues as well. Everyone has a unique perspective, skill set, or experiences to bring to the table. Be prepared to defend your ideas, but be respectful of your peers’ ideas as well.
2. Be Mindful of Your Emotions
It can be difficult to separate our private lives from the workplace, but it’s essential that you learn this skill. You’ve most likely heard someone say “check your emotions at the door” before, and it’s critical that you do.
I’ve seen fantastic employees lose their jobs because they became to the office charged with hostility for people who had nothing to do with his personal situations. There’s something sad about seeing a good employee lose his or her job over an emotional outburst at work. Don’t let this be you.
To be successful, you need to become aware of how your emotions affect your co-workers. Don’t let your stress affect how you treat others. Learn how to be emotionally aware, not only of your emotions but the emotions of others.
Do people light up around you? Or do they withdraw? You could be emitting emotions without even knowing it, and this could be affecting the people around you. Be mindful of your emotions.
3. Build a Sterling Reputation
A good reputation with your colleagues is essential to a successful future. When your name comes up in conversations around the office, you want people to comment on how great it is to work with you.
You want people to talk about how great you’re doing, or how awesome your attitude is, not how difficult you are to work with or how poorly you’re performing.
If you work to think about the big picture, go above and beyond, add tremendous value, and always say yes to new opportunities, then you’re sure to build an excellent reputation.
Always be sure to operate with integrity and in an ethical manner in everything you do. It will pay off big time!
Delivering High PERFORMANCE
I’m sure you’ve heard this quote: “The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.”
It’s so true! Success takes hard work and consistent quality.
When you are given a task or a project, your supervisor is entrusting you with something important. When the opportunity arises, you need to give it your very best effort. Get it done on time or even better, ahead of time.
Think through ways you can exceed your boss’s expectations. Consistent performance over time will build your supervisor’s trust. And delivering quality work that reaches beyond your boss’s expectations will result in their willingness to give you bigger and better opportunities.
But before we talk about delivering high performance, let’s take a quick look at perfection vs. excellence. Delivering high performance does not mean delivering perfection.
Perfection vs. Excellence
Perfection is impossible!
When we strive for perfection, we tend to exert too much energy, burnout, and then crash. Then, when we’re expected to perform again, we might very well fall flat on our face. This routine will lead to inconsistent quality in your work and will shake your supervisor’s trust.
Instead, we need to focus on delivering excellent work. It can be difficult, but we must learn what a great job looks like without over delivering and burning out. If you have to recharge for three days after turning in a project, you’re most likely overdoing it.
If you always feel like you’re redlining and then crashing, you may be subconsciously striving for perfection. If you never feel like your work is good enough, you may very well be a perfectionist, and this could ultimately hold you back in the long run.
To be successful and deliver high-performance consistently, you should focus on excellence instead of perfection.
If you want a better explanation on his, check out this video by Brendon Burchard. He’s one of my favorite mentor’s and does a wonderful job explaining the difference.
Okay, now that we have that out of the way, here are some strategies for delivering high performance:
1. Identify and Hone Your Key Result Areas
If you’re unfamiliar with Key Result Areas, I picked them up from Brian Tracy’s book Goals!
Here’s an example: I’m in sales, so my key result areas are:
- Establishing Rapport
- Identifying Needs
- Answering Objections
- Closing the Sale
- Getting Resales and Referrals
My ability to perform at a high level is directly related to these key result areas, so I need to hone these skills. If I excel at the first four but cannot close a deal or gain any resales, I’m not going to be a successful salesperson.
If you’re unsure of what your key result areas are, ask your supervisor, manager, or boss. If you can’t get a clear answer from him or her, do a Google search for key result areas using your job title.
Find your key result areas and work to improve on them every day.
2. Be an Appreciating Asset
The 80/20 rule, or Pareto’s Principle, states that 80% or the results come from 20% of the variables. For example, 80% of a companies sales might come from 20% of the salesforce. 80% of the revenue might come from 20% of the clients. Etc
You need to work to be in the 20% of high performers in your organization. It’s a little scary to think about, but our current skill and knowledge levels are becoming obsolete faster than ever before. Everything is moving so fast, and if we’re not careful, we’ll fall behind!
Just like a good stock in the stock market, you want to appreciate in value for your organization. This concept goes back to adding value. If you know the same things five years from now that you know today, you’re depreciating in value.
As professionals, we always need to be learning. Turn to personal and professional development, find a mentor, take online courses, read blogs and books, tune into podcasts and YouTube channels in your industry, or go to leadership conferences like the Global Leadership Summit.
Do whatever you have to to keep upgrading your skills and learn something new every day.
3. Avoid the Trap of the Poor Performer
Have you ever hear of “learned helplessness?”
It’s very common to be naturally weak in an area, either professionally or personally.
Perhaps you avoid this area of your job or your life. Maybe you say things like “I’m just not good in that area” or “I just don’t have any talent or skill in that area” or “I just wasn’t born with those skills.”
These thoughts are self-limiting belifs and they’re indicators of learned helplessness.
And in some cases, these thoughts might be true. I’m not musically inclined—at all! And if you’re 4 foot 6 inches tall, the NBA may not be in your future.
Some weaknesses cannot be changed, but when it comes to our jobs, we can’t neglect skills that are vital to our success.
If a skill is important to you or is vital to your job, you can learn it—you just need to practice dedication and determination.
The worst thing you could do is allow yourself to be held back from improvement when knowledge and information are so readily available. You can turn to a mentor, a course, a training workshop—the options for learning are practically endless, but you have to take action if you want to be a success.
Please don’t avoid your weaker skills. It’s good to stick to your strength zones when you can, but it would be a shame if you woke up five years from now and realized you had lost years of learning and improving your weaker areas.
Over to You!
So, there you have it: The V.I.P. Framework for Tapping into Your Potential & Getting Noticed at Work.
If you’re a young professional looking to get noticed, focus on adding VALUE, being an IDEAL TEAM PLAYER, and delivering high PERFORMANCE.
Do that, and you’ll be unstoppable!
Need some extra help? Reach out to me, and I’d be happy to help any way I can.
Until next time, take care!