Every day you are faced with many choices – trying to figure out how to best fit in, and at the same time, how to best get discovered. You realize that to advance in your career, you must alignment how others perceive you with the expectations you can be counted upon to consistently deliver. As the workplace evolves, your success is highly dependent upon the choices you make to influence its future – and equally your own. The speed of change also makes everyone more accountable for the choices they make to survive and thrive in a workplace that is testing their overall contributions every day – made all the more difficult as the playbook for success and eventual significance is constantly being reconfigured and redefined. After all, the marketplace not just the workplace is changing faster than ever before, and organizations and their brands are attempting to reinvent themselves to stay relevant – before their competitors pass them by.
But one thing remains constant: success comes most to those who are surrounded by others who want their success to continue. So ask yourself these two questions:
Do you hold yourself accountable to consistently over deliver?
It’s no longer enough to do your job as it’s laid out in your job description. This is merely the baseline for your responsibilities and deliverables. In today’s workplace, you must over deliver and define new standards and metrics for success.
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Over delivering is not just about performing your primary job duties and functions, but about helping others do theirs too – well beyond the obvious. It means being active and visible well beyond your job description – by participating in corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities, community outreach goals, and so on.
If you are only doing what you believe others expect from you – challenge yourself to find new ways to do things better. Never be predictable. Consistently over deliver and keep others on their toes. Allow your influence to propel others to equally over deliver.
Do you hold your boss accountable, too?
I am not referring to what many people call “managing up.” Holding your boss accountable in this case is more about making sure that he or she is pushing you and providing you the guidance to ensure you reach your full potential. This is what a leader or boss is ultimately responsible for. Unfortunately, not many leaders are good at this – especially those that are more interested in advancing themselves than they are in serving others.
In an assessment by my organization, we asked leaders if they are vulnerable with their employees and/or colleagues; 69% of leaders said that they were vulnerable only “sometimes.” The question is intended to reveal if leaders know it is in their best interest to be vulnerable – because this makes others feel safe to speak up and to share their ideas and ideals. Unfortunately, vulnerability is still too often viewed as a weakness that exposes one’s limitations.
The solution? Take ownership yourself! Leaders want employees, and employees want leaders, that take ownership – that are proactive and recognize the importance of working smart for the betterment of a healthy whole. Live this every day at work, and make the choice to take ownership and accountability for your success, that of others, and the organization you serve. Don’t let the rapidly changing marketplace pass you by because you didn’t see and seize the opportunity to evolve with it.
In today’s workplace, everyone is in search of answers – new, fresh ways of doing things – and if we can’t be vulnerable, how can we solve problems together; if we are not aware of our opportunity gaps, how can we be more efficient and effective. This is how we will eventually be able to discover the full potential in one another – and the business we serve.