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4 Easy Things to Stand Out At Work

Leadership Best Practices

You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.

Henry Ford

And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count.
It’s the life in your years. 

Abraham Lincoln.

I had a boss at one point who always loved to give me mentorship analogies and pieces of wisdom weekly, if not more often.  He felt this was critical to stand out at work.

We'd have our weekly mentoring session. The one that I remember more than any other was:

"every thing you do must be aligned and connected to growing our business"

We all collect little tidbits of wisdom from our bosses and peers throughout our careers. Some of those are things that they did and / or said. Some good, some bad. Many times these may be learnings that we filed in the "never do this" box. Some, though, create a thoughtful approach to creating value in business....

Stand Out At Work 

Unfortunately sometimes the work you do is not aligned with impacting positive financial growth (though isn't that why we're here?). When you look at organizational alignment, measuring and connecting to value, many businesses have a great deal of work that doesn't create business value. Sound familiar?

Value added work can take the form of driving strategy, creating a great customer experience, developing amazing products (that customers want), nurturing a wonderful employee experience, etc... though all are aligned with the main goal.

Stand Out At Work:  Your Personal Strategy Session 

Set aside 5 minutes each week on Monday morning and have your own "strategy session" . Before you turn on your computer to think about the following: (no distractions). What are you (and your team) doing that's directly aligned with creating value in the business. Is that value clear and measurable?

  1. Looking over the next year -- what are you doing that's aligned with creating business value? Can you measure it?
  2. Looking over the next month -- what are you doing that's aligned with creating business value? Can you measure it?
  3. Looking over the next week -- what are you doing that's aligned with creating business value? Can you measure it?

Some of these things could be helping make work more efficient or automated, improving customer penetration or satisfaction, product improvement, efficiency, sales, or even helping drive a cross training initiative, etc.

Now that you have the the strategic piece in order to stand out at work, lets look at Tactical.

4 Easy Things to Stand Out At Work

  1. Be Great to Work With:  Be the person who everyone wants on their team.  How do your peers like working with you?  How would they describe you?  Do they call you "great to work with".  "Always a partner". "Helps me when I need it and always when I ask".  "She's friendly."  Janice always gets stuff done ... has great ideas ... I can depend on her.  Never complains.  

  2. Get Stuff Done -- right:    How many times have you collaborated with someone, or that person said, I'll do this and get it to you by Friday.  Yet it never happens?  Or it was done at a low quality level.  Be the person who takes ownership, gets it done, and provides a quality output.  You will create a reputation for delivering the right results.  

  3. Be A Problem Solver - and part of the solution -- All businesses have issues and problems.  The worst thing to hear is "this is a problem and it doesn't work" then a blank stare with -- what should I do about it.  The best approach is that when you see a challenge, devise a soltuion -- then go to the owner, boss or someone who can decide on the path forward.  Present the problem, then present the solution.  A solution can even be a phased approach, band-aid, or internemtnal improvement.  

  4. Be the One To Be Trusted:  Trust is saying the truth which is always ground rules.  But trust is also the confidence that someone can deliver.  To do what they commit to.  And they follow through on commitments.  Always deliver on your commitments so that you have the trust of everyone that you are the right person for the job.

An example helps convey this message...

If you're not sure or you're working on things that are not aligned, you should talk with your boss about the alignment and provide suggestions to modify your focus ... ask why you're doing what you're doing.

Ensure you document and discuss your findings and accomplishments with your supervisor as you clearly create impact to the business.....and stand out. (This also allows you to clearly create aligned metrics)


The #1 Thing to Stand Out at Work?


Ensure you're always creating business value ...
and be able to prove it.

How have you done this?