When you are preparing for a conversation, meeting, presentation, etc – it is important for you to determine what are the critical success factors ahead of time. What would you need to show, do, accomplish for you to get a 5 star review? Sometimes we go through our days, weeks and months from meeting to meeting but not really being diligent in preparing to get the most out of each encounter. If you spend some time upfront preparing by thinking about what will get you rave reviews and then incorporating those ideas into your discussions, you will be more likely to land your ideas, POV, analysis, and recommendations.
The philosophy of going the “Extra Mile” means delivering more and better service than one is expecting and giving it with a positive mental attitude. Putting in this extra effort is not usually the glamorous or easy part of the job but often times it may be the most important. It allows you to finish the project strong and maximize the ROI on your efforts as well as the maximizing the benefits to the recipient. Because of this dual benefit it is definitely a win-win. The added bonus is that it will allow you to stand out since most people don’t make a habit of consistently putting in the extra effort.
You never wanted to be surprised in a review, so it important to have regular check-ins with your manager to get his/her opinion on how you are progressing against your deliverables, commitments and review goals. Now will probably never tell you exactly what I am actually going to get on my review before I have the actual review itself because there are a number of variables that are out of their control and they don’t want to promise what they can’t deliver on. But if you are off course, you can both use this time to determine how to make a small course correction before it becomes a much larger issue. Also if you do need to modify some things, catching it early in the cycle and having time to change course and get back into the smooth sailing area before the reviews are solidified is always a good idea.
Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! We did it! Today is a milestone because a little more than 4 months after I started this project, I just posted my 100th insight. I could not have done this without the ideas, support and feedback from you my extended family, friends, colleagues and readers. Many of you have reached out to me with well wishes, requests for more and questions about what comes next. I appreciate all the congratulations and celebrate with you! I do think I have a few more insights to share so keep an eye out for more to come 🙂
No One is Perfect. So make sure that you are not expecting perfection from your bosses or your colleagues. But most importantly, don’t expect yourself to be perfect. It is good to hold yourself to a high standard, to push yourself but don’t expect the impossible. Instead consistently push yourself to do your best and since you probably have a high bar for your performance, this mindset will take you far!
Visualize this. If you were running the company you work for, what would you need and want out of your best employees? Who would you choose to turn to for guidance to help you make your most important and difficult decisions? Who would you want to partner with? Who would be your problem solvers? My guess is that on the list you would look to those who think strategically, add value, offer solutions, make a difference and go the extra mile. This is the mindset that will set you apart. So why not offer what you would be looking for? Answer your own call and it will be a win-win..And you never know, one day you might be in the position you were visualizing!
You will be spending a lot of time at your job so I hope you really like what you are doing. So if you do, be excited about what your opportunities are and how you can make a difference. It is important to not only say you are passionate but to show it. Let your energy and excitement shine through in your interactions and projects. It can be contagious and a positive force. But I would say if you are not energized by what you are doing, if you are not excited about the opportunities and challenges ahead of you on your current path, think about pursing another path. Life is too short to not be jazzed about what you are doing!
There are a number of things in your work day that you can control and many things you can’t. Those that you can’t are the “uncontrollables”. It is important to recognize an uncontrollable, accept that you need to deal with it as it comes and focus on what you can change. This act of focusing your energy on those things you can control will increase both your productivity and the positive tangible impact you have on the outcome.
Some people see asking for help as a sign of weakness. When you encounter problems and don’t ask for help, it can snowball from a tiny issue into a big deal. That is when managers start to be surprised and no one likes to be surprised with bad news. However what I have come to learn is that no one truly completes a project by themselves and actually the sooner you ask for help the better. Asking for help does not mean you are a failure..Oh contraire..it means that you are a realist and understand what you don’t know and that you need to learn a new skill or need more support. So asking for help as soon as you think you need it is one of the best things you can do to aid in your success.
It seems there aren’t enough people out there willing to become sponsors. If sponsors are valuable enough for you to want one, why not be one? Take stock of those you work with and know professionally. Is there anyone you know that you can see with potential? Any individual or two that could benefit from your open advocacy? If so, proactively meet with them to better understand their goals and determine if there is anything you can do to help them achieve their aspirations. If there are things that you can do to help navigate the waters along the way, determine what the next best steps are and help make that happen in a vocal way with your contacts by being their advocate.