If an individual or business business in this twenty first century is not positioned to get out in front, they may not be positioning themselves at all. As 720thinkers, we have come to know that the individual or the company that stands out in front of the pack is the one that is proactive, daring and adventurous. They take active roles in seeking new opportunities and new projects, challenge the status quo, offer solutions and suggestions, volunteer for the difficult or even seemingly mundane tasks or projects that can change the course of a business, career, community or industry.
A junior associate had this practice. She allowed months of to go by as she waited for responses from her boss to unanswered emails.
Her pattern was as follows:
- If she had a question, she would send an email
- If she had a problem, she would email
- If she needed help, she emailed
- If there was a challenge, she didn’t step up and ask for more responsibility or ask, “How can I help?”, instead she didn’t email at all
Her boss was senior executive. Believe it or not, both associate and exec were in the same building, not different states, countries or time zones. When she finally picked up the phone and called her boss, a face-to-face meeting was set.
Unfortunately, the senior level had been waiting for the young employee to ask for face-to-face meetings whenever she needed help, or offer solutions to problems, or take advantage of the opportunities for change that abounded in the organization. After all, she had been hired as one of the brightest and the best. Over the course of those months, the boss started reassigning her duties and responsibilities to other employees.
I’ll bet you guessed this outcome of that meeting. The junior associate was not just of good graces with her boss because she didn’t get in front of the situation, she was out of a job.
The lesson can apply to any individual or business.
- As employees, rather than just being aware of issues and challenges, reach out for additional clarification, questions or comments and always be prepared with at least one solution or suggestion for improvement.
- With customers, get out in front and ask not just, “How are we doing?” Step up with genuine interest and concern to discover their needs, they are generally above and beyond what you are offering. We are not recommending that you or your business become a one-stop-shop. We are suggesting that customers are looking for long-term relationships, not quick fixes and short-term transactions. Unless, that is the business your in, be careful not to be labeled as a one-and-done.
- With community and industries, proactively discover issues, projects, problems and opportunities that you or your business has expertise, talent, products and services that can provide much needed assistance, products or services and get in front of the key decision makers, movers and shakers.
If you want to be noticed by organizations, communities, or industries, stop waiting to get noticed and get out in front. If not, you just might be out of a job, a client, a big contract. Need we say more.
As 720thinkers, we have a question for you. What can you do that will help you or your business stop waiting and get out in front?