Starting off 2011 with the attitude that includes impressing others will take you a long way. You hope that people are impressed with who you are and that just being yourself will make everyone think that you are the person who should be in charge, or be at least be on the team.
Who should you impress?
Well if you paid attention to the title of this article, I will be focusing in on impressing the boss. There are many more people to impress. If you are dating, then you want to impress your counterpart so that they stay interested in you. If you are in sports, you want to impress the coach to get you in the game and the opponents so that they are intimidated by your prowess.
In the workplace, one person you want to impress is your boss. Everyone has a boss—well almost everyone. If you are a business owner of a private company, you may think that no one is your boss and that you don’t have to impress anyone… but you have to impress the clients with your skills or product or you will soon be out of business. So maybe everyone has a boss, or at least someone who needs to be impressed, to keep the paychecks coming.
How should you impress them?
- Fit the job description and more
When was the last time you took a look at your written job description? This is a good starting place. You should be performing at a minimum of what is listed on it. If it is out of date – ask for it to be updated. If you don’t have one – get one. Remarkably in a poll that I did for AU2010, over 70 percent of those with the BIM Manager title do not have a written job description. That is concerning to me. How are they measured as it relates to performance? When does the firm know they are succeeding?
Once you have met the job description, go beyond it. Go far beyond it. Do more, learn more, provide more, and share more. I will talk more on this later when I speak to initiative.
- Say what you will do and do what you say you will
Getting things done and making things happen will impress everyone, especially when it is merged with a verbal and written dedication to a specific target. Many people hedge their progress targets by not defining them and stating them. A well-defined target is easier to hit. Getting that target defined by working with others helps assure your success at getting it done because they will all agree with the validity of the focus.
Once you have defined the target, get busy making it happen. By doing what you said you would you prove that you are trustworthy and valuable because you get the work done. If you say that you will do such and such by a specific date – then get it done by that date. If you are going to have to slip a deadline – make it public by stating the reasons for the delay. Don’t delay things just because you forgot to do them or did not estimate the level of effort correctly. The more you hit your targets, the more impressed others will be – especially your boss.
- Take initiative
Being asked to do something and then getting it done is impressive, but it does not show initiative. Moving past the job description and into other areas that relate to your job will increase your impressiveness.
Initiative is moving things forward before people ask you to. It is identifying problems, devising answers and getting things back on track. It is looking for improvements and making them happen. It is not easy to do. Seeing things that others do not see takes time, talent, and thinking. You may need to define the problem, devise a solution and then ask for permission to proceed, but
- Watch your tail end
I am not talking about your backside. I am speaking of the tail end of your projects. The flow of corporate initiatives is like a strong current in open water. It just keeps moving on to the next project.
So many things fall off the back end of projects that come back to bite you. Besides being a good starter, you need to be a good finisher. Finishing is in the details. Get them all right and completed. Don’t leave any loose strings or items that did not quite get done.
With a few small steps and diligent efforts, you can impress your boss and others in your firm. They will know that you are someone they want to keep around and someone to whom they should give more opportunities.