You probably know a star or twowhere you work – colleagues who seem tobe more productive, more effective, moretogether. They sail their way to the top.They set the standards everyone else has tofollow. How do they do it? What sets star performers apart isthey know how to use what they have. Doyou? YOU CAN!
Star performance offers other benefits besides an enviable reputation. Money, for instance. Starsget rewarded for carrying the team. Other teams want them, so stars have more employmentoptions. And because they know how to do more in less time, they have life beyond work.
Read this summary tolearn how to get stellarresults by changing yourdaily behavior. Stars aremade, not born. If youhave the drive to make ithappen, you too can be aSTAR.
Look for Opportunities to Exercise Your Initiative Stretch beyond your job description. Look for solutions for small local problems. As you gain experience, you’ll be able to tackle bigger issues that affect the company’s bottom line. Help out your co-workers, your team, your department. Your initiative must benefit someone other than you or it isn’t an initiative. Stick to your idea from start to finish. Rally the resources you’ll need. Accept the risk involved. You’ll be staking your reputation on your initiative & occasionally rocking the boat. That means you’ll make enemies. Learn to live with it.Show a little initiative. Better yet, show a lot. Doing your job, even doing it well, isn’t enough.
Develop Effective Work Habits to Increase Your Value Stay on the critical path. Critical path leads to happy customers, profitability, & increased shareholder value. If you don’t see any critical path connections in the work you’re doing, find tasks that do. Get into the flow. What distinguishes star performers is that they know when & how they are most productive. To achieve flow, you must first enjoy & find meaning in your work. Then you need to create a work environment that provides enough mental space to concentrate. Practice self-management. Review your productivity level on a regular basis (whatever works for you). Plan ahead for for crises.Star performers don’t just manage their time, they manage their careers. They make surethat what they do & how they do it add value to their employers.
Put Together an Expert Network Networking Etiquette 1. Learn what networking partners expect. 2. Choose your partners wisely. 3. Network before you need to. 4. Don’t try to create a network through cold calling. 5. Do your homework. 6. Credit lavishly. 7. Get up-to-speed fast. 8. To take, you must give.You can’t be a star alone. You need other people, now more than ever before.
See Issues as Others See Them The Five Cs – Customer perspective. Your job has an impact on customers. Talk with your customers to better understand their needs & motivations. – Colleague perspective. Instead of being defensive, listen to what your colleagues say. They may have useful advice you can use to improve your work. – Competitor perspective. Do you know who your competitors are & how you stand up to them? – Company-management perspective. Learn to think like a CEO. This means knowing what your organization’s goals are, which are most important, & how your work fits into them. – Creative dissonance perspective. Step outside your field and draw ideas from other disciplines. Think cross functionally. You can see a big picture better when you look at it from different angles.
Use Teams to Your Best Advantage Check for company support. Start at the top down to your own department. If teamwork is both valued & necessary at your company, you will be expected to join many teams. Learn to choose wisely & participate effectively. Make the right decision. Exercise judgment & control. If you think you’re wrong for an assignment, explain why & suggest a qualified candidate to replace you on the team. Play an active role. Once you commit to a team, be proactive. Work with the team leader to influence both the composition & the direction of the group. Before you decide whether to be a team player or solo flyer, find out what approach works best for star status at your company.
Be the Kind of Follower Leaders Want Sheep followers. These people are passive & completely dependent. They do what they are told, & no more. Yes-people. They’re dependent but they participate enthusiastically. Alienated followers. These independent thinkers once were active participants, but at some point they become disillusioned by someone or something. Pragmatic followers. They do what it takes to survive. Usually, this means they take the safest route possible, even if it means sacrificing their own good ideas. STAR FOLLOWERS. The kind leaders know they can depend upon. Competent, conscientious, cooperative.Followers contribute about 90% to the success of any organizationaloutcome-leaders, only 10%.
Be the Kind of Follower Leaders Want QUALITIES OF STAR FOLLOWERS: Make leaders’ job easier. Offer input or information while there is still time for them to act on it. If you & your leader disagree on an issue, get your facts straight before making your case. Use persuasion, not threats. Have the courage to stand up for what you believe is right even though speaking out may mean losing your job. Be prepared to stand alone. Followers contribute about 90% to the success of any organizational outcome-leaders, only 10%.
Earn Your Status as a Leadero Expert Leaders. Most teams are made up of experts whose knowledge complements each other.o People Persons. They earn their leadership status by working in the trenches with teammates not by sending orders down from the top.o Momentum Builders. Individuals who know how to jump- start a project & see it through to the end.People make good leaders because of their expertise, people skills, or abilityto get something done.
Learn the Unwritten Rules of the Game Check out the landscape. Every company has its own personality or culture. Look for clues everywhere. Learn the accepted practice before charging in. Volunteering for committees & assignments is a good way to learn more about your company. Create your own niche. Develop expertise that others don’t have but need.Call it street smarts, call it organizational savvy. It’s no mystery. It’s askill you can learn.
Communicate Your Message Effectively Whenever you do a presentation, tailor your message to your audience. Craft your speech around your audience’s needs, not your own. Make it interesting & relevant. Keep props to a minimum. Use them to enhance, not dominate your presentation.