What Your Boss Is Reading: Own Your Company
Remember when I recommended that, once a week, you read something that your boss is probably reading? You’ve totally been doing that, right? Of course you have.
But, just in case you maybe forgot or have been busy climbing that ladder or couldn’t find any articles that you felt really applied to your situation, I bring you this week’s edition of “What Your Boss Is Reading,” knowing that everyone in the workforce could stand to read this article.
The last time we talked, we covered what you should absolutely NOT do as an employee…or, you know, a guidebook on How To Be The Most Toxic Employee Ever. This time around, let’s take a look at the habits of highly effective (and promote-able) employees. Kevin Daum over at Inc.com is writing to your bosses, and is breaking down for them the characteristics of their star employees, not to mention providing them with ways to foster these kinds of traits, ensuring success for everyone. From “10 Things Really Amazing Employees Do,” here is my favorite:
2. Steward the Company
They treat the company as if it were theirs. They look to make prudent decisions about expenses and opportunities with the long-term future of the company in mind. They easily assess risk vs. reward, selflessly when making decisions.
Truthfully, I’m surprised that Daum did not prioritize this particular quality as the first and foremost needed to succeed. Straight talk: if you can master this particular trait, the rest fall into place pretty quickly/easily.
Think about it: if you are in charge of something, whether that’s a project, a business, planning an event, you will (hopefully) naturally want said thing you are in charge to be a runaway success. You will look for ways to make that happen. How can I do this for less money without sacrificing quality? How can I increase the awareness both in and outside the office for what I’m trying to do? Where do I eventually want this to end up and what do I want the outcome to look like? Where can I give of my own talents, skills, time, effort to make this as awesome as I want it to be? How do I assess the talents, skills, time, efforts of others so I can figure out where they can also contribute? And how do I get them to want to contribute?
These are all questions a good employer should be asking on a daily basis. What sets you apart in your employer’s eyes is that you are then thinking like she already has been. It takes more than one person to create success and your boss can’t do it alone. Think back to the last time that you were put in charge of something and really start to pay attention to the questions you asked yourself and to the actions you took to make that thing incredible. Then figure out where you can take ownership in your company–maybe you’ve noticed a process that could be more efficient. Or you see the need for some policy and guideline development with regards to different tasks. Maybe you know of a way to bring in more clientele or you’ve noticed a way to cut costs while still delivering on your company’s mission statement. Perhaps you know of a way to increase staff productivity or morale. Whatever it is, write it down and make it your mission to get your hands dirty with that thing from here on out. Your employer should take notice of your initiative and commend the simultaneous leadership and teamwork approaches that you are taking.
Once you’ve figured out where you’d like to see your office improve, go back and read the rest of that article. The remaining 9 things that Daum speaks of are natural outputs and reactions to being a steward of your company. Master these and watch your path to success become just a little bit clearer every day.