To be seen by your company and peers as a high value asset involves you doing more than achieving or exceeding sales targets or generating the most new business quarter after quarter.
Let's start with a definition of a high value asset. It's a person, product or service that plays a significant and usually visible role in consistently driving an organization's short and long-term financial success. But remember, high value assets don't perform in isolation. Even the most productive sales person who posts huge sales based on their skill and drive, seemingly without the support of other team members, can never act solely on their own.
Likewise, assets such as revenue generating products and services rely on the support of the organization to be successful. Human or not, every high value asset relies on the support of the organization. As effective as you feel you may be, it is only your managers, peers and clients who decide how effective you are. They base their views on how you interact with others in going about your work, and how you make others feel about themselves and the organization.
Creating sales and profitability are obviously vital to the success of your organization and career. Your "high-value" role includes your ability to relate on a personal level with your managers, peers, clients, prospects and vendors.
Here are five tips on how to become a high value asset to your organization today and down the road.
Define your goals and strategy
Be clear about your business goals and have a well-defined strategy in place to help you achieve them. Fully understand your strengths and identify areas that need improvement. Decide whether to focus on capitalizing on your strengths or working on your weaknesses, or ideally doing both. Your choice here is best based on your personality, and ability and appetite for taking on new challenges.
Keep your promises, but be realistic
Ensure that the promises you make to clients and colleagues are realistic. This includes setting and meeting your own work deadlines, sharing referrals and industry information, and being punctual and reliable. Go beyond your job description and strive to do better with realistic and new business ideas that make the process and work environment better for everyone.
Consider personal and external factors that could potentially disrupt your plans. Factor in the reality of constant change and remain ready to adapt to change, good or bad.
At the same time, get comfortable with the idea of being uncomfortable. This involves taking calculated risks that have the potential to reward you in proportion to the extent of the risk and have limited negative implications when they don't work out. Try new things and remember the adage that insanity is defined as "repeatedly taking the same approach to solving the same problem and expecting a different result."
Build trust through your reputation
Remember that your most important asset is your reputation and the trust others have in you.
EI (Emotional Intelligence) is the ability to put yourself in the position of others and be empathetic toward them and their goals. When others sense you are taking their views into account, it helps you win their trust. Show your genuine interest in others by active listening, sharing ideas and keeping the good of the entire organization (not just your advancement) top of mind.
Don't complain about other employees or company policy to anyone who will listen. Regardless of your role, choose appropriate settings and times to voice personal concerns, such as during your review with your manager or if asked for personal feedback by a member of the management team. This includes becoming part of an office clique or faction known to hold strong views regarding a particular policy or person. A group that may be in management's favour one day may be out of favour the next. Try to avoid office politics. By taking the high road and not siding with one person or group, you will build your leadership role as a trustworthy and objective team member.
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Take the long view
Employees who are promoted regularly from within a company have a demonstrated ability to read and anticipate situations. How often have you heard of the senior manager who has survived two mergers and three managers in the rise to a C-suite or management role? That employee has consistently shown good judgment and performed well over the long term, unlike his or her managers who have come and gone, often quickly.
Give credit where credit is due
Due to interconnectivity in the workplace, it takes a team to provide breakthrough ideas and properly test them before deploying them. Welcome your successes with pride while remembering that, as author C.S. Lewis said, "Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's is thinking of yourself less."
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