My son and I talked about him getting a summer job the other day. Around here, getting a job as coffee barista is one of the choice teenager jobs. My comment to him was:
Be the person they remember, not the person they forget.
What do I mean? There are jobs where you go to a specific person because they’re known for doing good work, they have the connections, etc. For example, you go to Riley when you want to get a headshot because you know that Riley’s done an excellent job for people in your network, and they’re highly recommended.
And there are jobs you go to because they provide a service - the checkout cashier, the barista at the coffee shop, etc. This distinction isn’t between or white-collar vs. blue-collar jobs. I’ve worked with folks in construction where you ask for them by name, and you’ll hold the work until they’re available.
Rather, the point is that you want to spend the time to develop a reputation that’s associated with your name.
Be the manager that stakeholders want when they have an important delivery.
Let’s take that to Riley; they always manage to figure a way to deliver.
Let’s find one of the Analytics managers that’s free to do this analysis.
Be the manager that’s known for turning a team around.
Let’s put Riley in charge of this org because they’ve done an amazing job fixing that dumpster fire we had in place last year.
Let’s split this team-up among the remaining managers.
That’s what stakeholders say that aren’t attached to the manager, and they’re only focused on the outcome. Which means they won’t go to bat for you when you need it later down the road.
Another way to say this is “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know,” but that adage isn’t entirely correct either. You have to use “what you know” to execute and deliver. However, this means that you also need to put in the effort to get people to know you.
Maybe that’s the Steve at the coffee shop that remembers your order before you even get to the counter. Or perhaps that’s store manager that asks you for help when you’re looking for something you can’t find. Maybe it’s you since you’re the manager with a good reputation for delivery and building teams.
It’s on you to develop that reputation.
Once you have that reputation, you must consistently focus on:
- And Finance
If you are constantly working on being a better manager, you’ll rapidly outpace all the other managers that are either clocking their days away or the ones that don’t have a plan for how to get better.
Plan better, train better, be better!
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