It used to be simple climbing the corporate ladder. Stay at the same company. Put in the time. Work from the ground up. Or… Date the boss’s daughter.
Between startups, contractors, and remote workers, the modern workplace is changing rapidly. Employees need to be dynamic, and technical to keep ahead.
Below are three ways that star employees stand out from the crowd. I’ve included a sample from my own experience in driving change with an executive leader.
Do What Peers Won’t
At every company there are dusty areas no one wants to deal with but everyone sees are a problem.
On a recent flight I watched the movie “The Intern” starting Robert De Niro. His boss (Ann Hathaway) is always bothered by a table in the office where everyone dumps off stuff without a home. De Niro takes the time to arrange and clean everything. It catches the eye of his boss who previously wouldn’t give him the time of day.
In my example, my boss needed a new printing solution but didn’t want to spend the time sourcing. I spent a few hours here and there researching different companies and provided example work items we’d need from them to get comparisons on pricing and quality.
Make Strategic Recommendations
It’s not enough to come up with an idea and share it with your boss. She may like the idea and appreciate the initiative. If she can’t put it to use, your credit will quickly vanish.
So how do you take an idea and make it actionable? Easy steps:
- Idea: Find new partner for printing services (most would stop here and share with their boss). Wait for it…
- Review: Sources that help improve the bottom line, speed, quality, environmentally friendly, and service. In my case, I found Greenerprinter.com as a source that met these criteria. Wait for it…
- Simplify: Communication outlining the benefits and steps to migrating to your new printing service.
- Schedule: 20 minutes to present and answer questions. A well thought-out and concise presentation should take no more than 10 minutes to convey a slam-dunk case. Go for it!!!
With the problem and solution in hand, the most important final piece is to simplify into the most important facts. Say in 10 words what you would say in 50. Use a picture to skip 1000 words.
In the attached/linked presentation, I’ve shown how in 5 simple slides, you can convey the problem, solution, and migration plan so that any leader can have confidence in your idea to move forward.
Business leaders are busy and don’t care about every company you reviewed, issue you ran into, or lesson you learned (unless they ask). Your job is to be brief, insightful, and on to implementing solutions.
Superstar Employees stand out by solving and executing on problems they were never asked to do. They become leaders by setting a smooth and simple process for decisions to be made and executed on.