Kool Derby

The top-notch employees in your organization have something unique about them. They are not necessarily the smartest, but they understand how to generate value. To differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack, you must focus on the activities that improve the bottom line.

You can follow the advice of Chris Matthews of CNBC: “You must get yourself a seat at the table.” In other words, the excellent employees are meaningful participants. They will not sit on the sidelines and hope for the best.

The point here is that failing is easy: just don’t do anything. Of course, doing nothing will get you nowhere. Becoming a top producer for your organization requires that you assume some risks. You can mitigate those risks by taking action. The more you plan, and the more you execute, the sooner your organization will realize its goals.

Here are three personal attributes that are in high-demand by your employer:

#1: Develop a go-getter attitude.

A go-getter attitude doesn’t mean that you’re gung-ho all day long, yelling directives at subordinates. It does mean, however, that you’re willing to accept tough assignments, even though you have more than enough work. You must learn to prioritize your activities, and be prepared to accept new challenges.

Jana: “Ryan, I understand you have so much on your plate, but I have an important assignment that came from the top. We’re looking for a competent program manager to handle the building of the Qatar Embassy. I would like you to head that program.”

Ryan: “Jana, I understand this is an important program for our company. I will meet with my team today to distribute some of my work. Let’s get started with the Qatar Embassy!”

To succeed, you must find a way to accept the work assigned to you by your manager. It’s important that you find a viable solution.

#2: Realize that nothing happens in isolation.

A company has many moving parts. When marketing initiates a campaign, you can expect sales to increase. Therefore, manufacturing will feel the impact. As a big picture person, you must be proactive, and anticipate the work increase. You must avoid a reactive approach because this is synonymous with chaos management, which places too much strain on the organization.

Knowing that marketing is advertising heavily in California, you must include manufacturing as a key stakeholder. Make sure they have the resources and capacity to handle the increase volume.

#3: Develop your ability to solve complex problems.

Most everyone can solve the simple issues that arise. For example, it’s easy to call a vendor to determine the status of an order. However, it’s more difficult to determine why customer orders in Ohio are declining. The complex problems require root cause analysis, interviews with stakeholders, and presentations to top management.

Be prepared to accept the tough assignments, because these provide more value to your organization. Even when you are not 100% ready to do the work, take a chance. You can find a mentor who can guide you along the way. Once you have the experience and confidence, you can tackle even bigger assignments.

When you arrive to work today, think of how you can generate value for your organization. Don’t leave the office until you are certain that the company has taken a step forward because of the work you completed. The step can be small, but progress is made nonetheless. While you will encounter obstacles, you are undeterred, and will focus on the key activities that generate the most value to your employer.