When being successful isn’t enough

When being successful isn’t enough

When being successful isn’t enough 

When being successful isn’t enough

by Ankita Poddar 14/12/2018

You might be doing great at work; however, from my many years in the industry I have come to learn that there lies a big difference between being a successful professional and establishing yourself as a successful professional. The Venn diagram on these does not necessarily intersect. Hence, while you may be successful, I am going to share a few tips on how to get good at establishing it. Also, because while there are a million articles available on how to have a successful career and be a successful professional, very few emphasize on what it takes to let the world know that you are successful. Believe me, I’ve looked.

 

Why?

You have worked hard over the years and already spent considerable effort on becoming a successful professional. Why must you invest the extra effort that comes with pursuing the ‘establishing’? Shouldn’t that be an automatic side effect of becoming a successful professional? Well, in another day and age – absolutely. In a world ruled by the internet and social media, it is far from enough. In fact, it is a disservice to your profession to not tell everyone that you know the profession well. How else would people know whom to reach out to? Also, wouldn’t it be great to get to a stage where jobs seek you out and not the other way round? To be in a position where everyone who matters knows your name? If your answer to those questions is NO, you can stop reading now. If you want to continue to survive in today’s rat race, I recommend you continue reading.

 

How?

Like most good things in life, establishing yourself takes time and effort. While there isn’t a shortcut, what I can do is share steps and actions from the little I’ve learnt.

1. Find your voice: Everyone’s talking. You need to figure what makes you worth listening to. It doesn’t have to be something unique, something that no one else has but it needs to be something that one can associate with you. It is important to identify what’s going to make you different and build your brand (your name) around it. You can decide to brand yourself as a self-assured, humorous, divergent thinker. You can decide to be the professional who is an ace at research. Find the qualities or the niche that makes you different. If you have both, even better. Do not dilute the brand. It might be tempting to focus on multiple things but for strong brand recall, it is necessary that you have a laser focus on a set number of attributes. Do not skimp on this step. Every other step that follows makes no sense if you do not get this right. Find something that you can stick. Something that defines you.

2. Tweet: Now that you’ve zeroed in on your unique voice, it’s time to start talking. The best platform to begin with is Twitter. Create an account, use the brief description to re-emphasize your attributes and start tweeting. It doesn’t have to be original content. You can start by following all other thought leaders in the space, replying to them and retweeting what resonates with your brand. You can share articles that you love, videos and quotes that inspire you. Participate in tweet chats. If you are terrible at tweeting, set reminders. Tweet a minimum of twice a day and when you begin to connect with people on Twitter, tag them on posts that you think they may enjoy reading. You will soon find yourself gaining strong followers. Do not go by numbers but the quality of the connections you build. Don’t get impatient. It takes years to build up a strong Twitter network but this is as good a time to start as any.

3. Write: I’d like to say this is optional but almost everyone is writing these days. It has become the new essential skill in town so even if you aren’t absolutely great at it, it’s always good to practice. The aim is to start creating original content and have a space where you can host it all. You don’t have to go on to WordPress or Medium. You can start by posting on LinkedIn. Their new algorithm makes it easier for you to share your message. Start connecting with websites who share content and explore opportunities to collaborate. Write for them. Keep writing until you find your style and then make it better. Over time, you may even decide to have your own blog. If you do, invest a little and buy the domain. It makes for a stronger brand.

4. Turn up: Scan your locality for conferences, interest groups, events associated with your profession. If necessary, travel to attend these. They are great avenues to meet those you have previously interacted with over social media, reinforce those connections and make new ones. Stay for the after parties. Talk, sing and laugh with people. I can already see the introverts shudder at this thought. I am a classic introvert but I know this is important and always collect my energy reserves to be present. If you keep at it, soon you will find yourself invited to these gatherings and who knows, over time you’ll be the one up on stage everyone is travelling to listen to.

5. Tell a good story: This is the other hot new skill in town. The best people tell the best stories. All leading brands have their own story. Fill your basket with conversation starters and practice storytelling. There is no quicker way to create brand recall than to narrate a story worth repeating. Not all stories need to be original nor does the narration. The skill lies in narrating the right story at the right time and narrating it in style. As you practice creating original content, you will learn to string together original stories that will make you a star. Like with all the above and wine, it gets better with time.

6. Always have an updated resume & LinkedIn profile: I learnt this the hard way. Life has a tendency of getting in your way at the most inopportune moments. There are countless occasions where I’ve updated my resume in less than an hour and sent it across only to kick myself for having missed something important. Resumes need to be worked on for days. When you’ve done all of the above right, it makes little sense to miss an opportunity because you didn’t have a ready resume when a lucrative offer knocked at your door. Always keep your LinkedIn profile and resume updated even if you aren’t looking for change. You never know when the opportunity of a lifetime knocks you over your feet. Learn from my mistakes.

 

There are a few other things that help stay at the top. These include certifications, winning awards and taking great professional looking pictures. The common thread that runs through all of them is the importance of networking and connect. Like every successful brand, you need to find reasons to connect with the audience on a regular basis. These six tips when followed religiously will not only make you a successful professional but also open doors that you would never have imagined. So go ahead. I can’t wait to hear people shout out your name. And when they do, give me a shout out. ☺

Ankita Poddar is HR professional based out of India. Identified as one of the emerging HR leaders in India in 2016,  Ankita's experience as an HR Business Partner gives her the opportunity to work closely with business leaders, innovate and execute on the behalf of customers especially in areas of people analytics, employee engagement, rewards and recognition and performance management. Ankita blogs about all things HR at https://thehrbpstory.com/. Follow her on Twitter @ankitapoddar

Ankita Poddar

https://thehrbpstory.com/

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Fehler – ein Tabuthema, das unter dem Teppich gekehrt wird?

Fehler – ein Tabuthema, das unter dem Teppich gekehrt wird?

Fehler – ein Tabuthema, das unter dem Teppich gekehrt wird?

Fehler – ein Tabuthema, das unter dem Teppich gekehrt wird?

Dr. Christian Rauscher

by Dr. Christian Rauscher 04/12/2018

Jeder kennt ihn, keiner will ihn: den Fehler. Und doch passiert es in Unternehmen immer wieder, dass etwas schief läuft. Da sollte man meinen, Unternehmen können damit gut umgehen. Doch weit gefehlt; in den meisten Organisationen sind Fehler ein Tabuthema und werden unter den Teppich gekehrt. Es ist offensichtlich schwierig, eine gute Fehlerkultur aufzubauen, denn wir lernen von Kindheit an, dass Fehler  mit Konsequenzen (der unangenehmen Art) verbunden sind. Wer’s gut macht erhält ein Eis, der andere muss nachsitzen.

Wo liegen die typischen Schwachpunkte in den Unternehmen?

  • Da gibt es die berühmte „Zero Tolerance Attitude“. Im Zuge des Hypes um das Qualitätsmanagement wurden stets hochpräzise Organisationen gelobt. Stellen Sie sich vor, es würden 99,9% der Flüge jeden Tag gut verlaufen und 0,1% abstürzen. Das wäre eine Katastrophe. Aber Organisationen sind keine Flugbetreiber und nicht jede Abweichung führt zu derart dramatischen Konsequenzen…
  • Aus dieser Denkhaltung entsprungen ist der natürliche Wunsch, alles zu tun um Fehler künftig zu vermeiden. Das ist in der Regel ja auch eine schöne Tugend, führt jedoch meist dazu, dass – wenn EINEM ein Fehler unterläuft – ALLE mit neuen Prozessvorschriften und Dienstanweisungen beglückt werden. Die internen Handbücher bersten, Prozessbeschreibungen sind kaum mehr aktuell zu halten und werden irrelevant. Damit geht aber auch der Fokus auf wirklich essentielle Abweichungen vom gewünschten Zustand verloren.
  • Scheinbar instinktiv begeben sich Organisationen auf die Suche nach „Schuldigen“. Wer hat’s zu verantworten? Hoffentlich nicht die eigene Abteilung? Diese Fragen lenken die Energie in die vollkommen falsche Richtung. Anstelle der Suche nach einer Lösung bzw. der Frage nach dem organisationalen Lernen wird gemauert und mit dem Finger aufeinander gezeigt.
  • Das führt dann dazu, dass Mitarbeiter alles unternehmen, um eigene Fehler zu vertuschen. Sie berauben damit die Organisation von Lernchancen und Weiterentwicklung.


Und damit sind wir schon beim Punkt. Einstein meinte einst: Wer noch nie einen Fehler gemacht hat, hat sich noch nie an etwas Neuem versucht. Unternehmen benötigen somit eine gesunde Kultur der Umgangs mit Fehlern, denn sie benötigen individuelles Wachstum und internen Wandel. Innovation schreit geradezu danach, nicht das gewünschte Ergebnis (ein Fehler?) zu erhalten. Wichtig ist offensichtlich, dass wir daraus lernen und uns bewusst in Risiken und Fehler begeben.

Aristoteles unterscheidet im Übrigen zwischen den Begriffen: Unglück, Fehler und schlechtem Tun:

  • Ein Unglück oder Unfall (griechisch atuchêma) geschieht einerseits unvorhersehbar und andererseits
ohne böse Absicht.
  • 
Im Unterschied dazu ist ein Fehler (griechisch hamartêma) zwar vorhersehbar, beruht aber keineswegs
auf übler Absicht.

  • Eine böse Tat (griechisch adikêma) hingegen ist sowohl vorhersehbar in ihren negativen Folgen als auch
ein Ausdruck schlechter Absichten.


Heute müsste man somit auch noch den Begriff der „erwarteten Abweichung“ bzw. des „geplanten
 Scheiterns“ dazu nehmen, um auch dem Innovationsgedanken gerecht zu sein.

Doch wie kann man die eigene Kultur verändern?

Ich erinnere mich noch sehr gut, als ich begonnen habe in unseren Teammeetings, den „Fehler der
Woche“ zu feiern. Es war blamabel. Die Fehler kamen stets nur von mir (ich wollte ein gutes Vorbild
sein) und irgendwann schwankten meine Mitarbeiter zwischen Zweifel an meinen Fähigkeiten und
peinlicher Betroffenheit, ob der Übung. Was war falsch gelaufen? Der restliche Umgangston passte nicht
zu meiner Idee des Fehlerfeierns! Man kann nicht einen Aspekt der Kultur radikal wandeln, ohne in allen
Aspekten die erforderliche Neuausrichtung und das Neudenken vorzunehmen. Der Aufbau einer
Fehlerkultur benötigt vor allem eine sehr bewusste und achtsame Arbeit der Führungsmannschaft und
ein kritisches Hinterfragen der eigenen Systeme und Routinen. Wichtige Voraussetzung sind
 Angstfreiheit und vollständiges Vertrauen in die zwischenmenschliche Beziehung. Ohne Wertschätzung
für den Einzelnen, ohne Interesse am Menschen, wird eine Fehlerkultur nicht funktionieren.

Wir müssen sehr gewissenhaft prüfen, wer in unserer Organisation positives Feedback und
Anerkennung erhält. Und wir dürfen uns selbst prüfen, wie wir mit Emotionen bei Fehlern umgehen. Hier
gilt die Regel: Das kleinste emotionale „Lüfterl“ ist wie ein Orkan für die Mitarbeiter. Aber auch eine
rosarote Brille (im Sinne von „alles ist gut“) wird auch nicht helfen, denn die Dinge sind klar, transparent
und wertfrei beim Namen zu nennen und offen zu adressieren. Nur ein ehrlicher Austausch auf
Augenhöhe, ein durch Respekt gepflegter Dialog, wird das förderliche Miteinander stärken.


Mein Fazit: Starten Sie nicht mit abgehobenen Programmen und Maßnahmen, sondern mit ehrlichem
 Dialog und der Reflektion Ihres eigenen Verhaltens. Prüfen Sie sich, ob Sie generell ein Mensch sind,
der eher auf die Fehler fokussiert, oder ob es Ihnen tatsächlich gelingt, die Stärken der Mitarbeiter im
Fokus zu halten. Wie sagt man so schön: Nix g ́sagt, ist glob ́t g ́nug! So kommen wir nicht an die Fehler
ran – so fördern wir weder das Wachstum des Einzelnen noch der Organisation. Und diese
Herausforderung, das Begleiten der Menschen im Wandel, wird die wichtigste Managementaufgabe des
digitale Zeitalters!

Wie steht es um Ihre Kultur? Machen Sie den Test unter:
www.wertvolle-unternehmenskultur.de/selbsttest

Dr. Christian Rauscher ist Geschäftsführer des Beratungsunternehmens emotion banking® und Begründer des Managementinstruments victor, CEO tritra, Lehrbeauftragter an der Donau Universität Krems, Fachbuchautor und Speaker. Zudem Unterstützer der Initiative Wertvolle Unternehmenskultur.

Christian Rauscher beschäftigt sich seit mehr als 20 Jahren mit Themen rund um das strategische Management. Er ist bei regionalen Instituten ebenso „zu Hause“ wie bei internationalen Konzernen. Er gilt als Vor- und Querdenker, Impulsgeber und erfahrener Consultant. Kunden profitieren von einem Know-how aus über 200.000 Mitarbeiter- sowie rund 2.200.000 Kundenanalysen, von Expertenwissen und der langjährigen praxisnahen Erfahrung. 

Dr. Christian Rauscher

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How To Communicate Difficult Organizational Change 

How To Communicate Difficult Organizational Change 

How To Communicate Difficult Organizational Change 

How To Communicate Difficult Organizational Change 

by Daniel Lock 03/12/2018

One thing is certain, at some point in organisational life, as a leader you’ll be required to deliver news that change is coming. And some may not like it.

Announcing change can be intimidating and challenging for the leader. If not handled deftly it can wreak havoc on the how well the change progresses. Resistance and outright mutiny can result.

Based on my experience in organization change, my involvement in leadership training, and our conversations with over hundreds of executives, here’s six ways managers can engage their people in change and connect with them.

Allow way more planning time than you think is required to develop the content, the delivery, and the crucial follow-up

You’ve seen the Ted talks, and perhaps comedians and they look so polished and effective on stage. But ask them how they make it look so easy and they’ll tell you it’s in the preparation. Lots of preparation.

Preparation isn’t the only consideration. It’s also important to communicate more often and in more channels. In the first instance, you’ll expect to hold a town hall style meeting or video conference to introduce and explain the change. Expect to also conduct follow ups and feedback sessions conducted by appropriate levels of leadership.

Coordinating announcements and sequencing when and who will deliver them is an important factor. It sometimes seems like we’re having meetings to plan a plan, but good planning and sequencing of communication events will save time, and pain, over the long run.

Multiple opportunities for understanding conversations is critical to effective change. And equally, receiving the change in the correct order and from the right leaders is critical to credibility.

 

Train all levels of leadership to emphasise context

Don’t assume middle and front-line management will communicate the messages well. Conduct briefing sessions and work with them through role plays if required to help them in the delivery. In sensitive conversations are easily misinterpreted.

On the receiving side of an organisational restructure early in my career a manager told us we “lucky to have a job, let alone get paid more for additional responsibilities”. I’ll never forget that. The resentment and gap of trust and relationship was palpable. We remained that way for some time, despite the overtures of senior management.

 

Describe the urgent case for change

The organisational inertia of managing the day-to-day and the inevitable problems that arise will cause a business to drift.

An interruption is needed.

Because without a prodding outside force creating a crisis of sorts, leaders won’t sit down and do the careful thinking, planning and strategizing to make success happen.

To illustrate why it’s important to create an interruption or crisis, consider this study conducted by psychologist Gabriele Oettingen. She conducted research with obese women, wondering how do our expectations impact goal achievement. It’s important to make the urgent case for change in order to galvanize people from the status quo. After all, change has costs and can be painful, so they need a solid ‘why’. Describe the impacts and missed opportunities to customers, staff, the business if you don’t change.

 

Personalize both the impact and the resolution

Have empathy for how people are impacted. Moving down from the why, beginning talking about the ‘what’. If you talk only at the why, people may become confused about what applies to them; and Ambiguity is one of the key reasons for resistance.

So, for example, come prepared to meetings having thought through potential impacts to people so you can answer these concerns on the spot. This alleviates anxiety, as if you don’t know the answers you must go away to get them, which can take considerable time. Employees will appreciate the attention and support even if they’re negatively impacted.

 

Give the affected people as many options for as much participation as you can

People don’t resist what they create. This allows for autonomy and pride. While some changes really will impact people negatively, such as redundancies due to reorganisations, if you don’t the why and what with empathy and then asked for their input, they’ll help you generate practical ideas.

 

Ask and answers these questions:

1. Does the proposed change create a future the realization of which fulfills matters of fundamental interest or importance to the relevant parties.

2. In the realizing of that “created future”, the people you are leading (those who must act to realize that “created future”) must see an opportunity to fulfill their concerns.

3. In the realizing of that future, the people you are leading must see an opportunity for self-expression.

4. In the realizing of that future, the people you are leading must see an opportunity for them to personally make a noteworthy contribution to the realization of that future.

Thinking through these questions, if you see gaps, move to fill them immediately.

 

Demonstrate empathy and responsibility, not just authority

The Freakonomics team recently looked apologies and what makes for a good one. The answer was to acknowledge the impact on others, combined with a concrete and believable plan for restitution to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

The same approach can be used when introducing difficult change. By taking responsibility for the impact of the change on others, whether you instigated it or not, builds credibility.

 

Summing up

These 6 tips and approaches will get the communicating challenging organisational change. It can feel laborious and tedious to spend time in meetings planning for every contingency.

So, where do you stop?

The guiding question to ask yourself to keep on track is not, “Have we communicated enough?”, but “Have we reached our people?”

Daniel Lock helps organizations unlock value and productivity through process improvement, project and organizational change management. Find out more about him at daniellock.com and check out his latest in-depth post, CHANGE MANAGEMENT PROCESS: The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide where you’ll learn not only the fundamentals of change management but why these are critical to achieving business outcomes. Make change work for you and add to your tools and techniques.

Twitter: @DanielLock

Daniel Lock

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