ARTICLE: Become a force to be reckoned with.

Idiom. Force to be reckoned with
Fig. someone or something that is important and powerful and must not be ignored.

There is much that can be said for how you gain a reputation in your industry. Whether it’s in a niche area like automotive retail or in a mass area like general advertising or even in professional sport for that matter. Reputation follows you. It builds you up. It breaks you down. It can burn your career as quickly as sling shot it to higher rewards. We’ve all worked with someone or a few people who are amazing at what they do – but have bad habits that will never get them to their full potential.

The key to making yourself more valuable to your work life – no matter if it is for your boss, your clientele or the team you are trying to motivate – is simply find ways to become invaluable. Unless you invented something that is patented and everyone wants it or you possess some amazing power (possibly from a nuclear accident or a bioengineered insect bite) you will always be replaceable. Don’t feel bad about it. It is necessary. We don’t live forever and we don’t stay in the same role forever. The days of our grandfathers sticking it out at the same company for 25 plus years are rare. Especially when the choice and variety of trades are so numerous. Businesses would collapse if they relied on only one person. Many don’t get past the start up phase simply because their founder can’t let go as the company grows. The same can be said for managers, as their staff needs to grow for company expansion.

To me the most important thing no matter what personality you have whether you are calm and quiet or a brilliant yet uncontrollable A-type, is to be a force change. If you don’t, you risk becoming easily replaced or worse slowly forgotten and passed by. And if where you are does not allow it – maybe you are bound for better things.

Here are some of the ways I’ve always tried to become invaluable over the years. Some are things I’ve just learnt from trial and error. Some are lessons I’ve learnt from wiser mentors:

  1. Keep notes.
    Too often people think their brain will keep track of everything. It can’t. Not in an environment where things move fast and processes change constantly. To this day I still make daily lists on what I need to get done and what I need to check in on. It ensures you are on it before someone asks you about it. Or at least that you are aware to answer quickly. It also feels good as you cross them off and feel like you accomplished progress.
  2. Make yourself accountable.
    This goes with notes and taking initiative. Don’t wait. If you have an idea on how to solve something go ahead and propose it or solve it. There is nothing that makes me happier then finding out after the fact that someone stepped up and fixed it without running in circles like the Lord Of The Flies boys setting more fires. Follow up before someone has a chance to follow up with you. It helps you stay on top of things and ahead.
  3. Be Transparent.
    There is a tendency through fear that people don’t speak up when they don’t understand something or are unsure if they have made a mistake. It is a human tendency – we all hid things form our parents. However in the work place or in your business it is the thing that comes back to haunt you when it comes up later. Or worse, when it grows into something worse. Transparency is one of the highest signs of respect you can give people. No hidden costs. You expect it when you buy things or get services done. You should facilitate the same in what you offer others.
  4. Drive decisions. Even if they end up being wrong.
    If you do not take steps to drive the boat someone will ALWAYS steer you in their direction. What a lost opportunity. People like it when you come to them with a solution or an attempt. Even it isn’t how they will do it. It is those people who push decisions to happen that quickly become a key voice at the table others look to and listen too. And oddly enough the ones who don’t want to listen are the ones hiding in their position hoping YOU don’t find out they are unsure.
  5. Don’t be an Asshole.
    Doesn’t matter how talented you are or how forceful you think you need to be to motivate. If you are someone that puts others off you will eventually burn all your bridges. As I said in the intro; reputation follows you. The good and the bad.

What do you do to stay valuable?


Originally Published on LinkedIN