You want more than a job. You want to make a difference.
You want to be seen, heard, and recognised in a way that builds your leadership credibility now and positions you for future opportunity
However, it’s easy to get caught up with managing today reactively vs creating tomorrow proactively. Especially when you’re stretched thin, caught up in issues, and manage multiple demands for your time, all the time.
Michelle fell into this trap. She was a great team contributor and was relied upon to deliver consistently in her team. She also felt frustrated and was concerned that she wasn’t positioned well. She knew she wasn’t going to be the person tapped on the shoulder for an internal promotion, even though she knew she was capable and wanted more. She asked “How do I get out of this?”
Have you ever felt like this? Do you want more? The bridge between being known as a deliverer and as a leader is creating and driving new opportunity.
Creating opportunity is a mindset
Opportunities are actually everywhere – we don’t see them all because we’re stuck in the same patterns of thinking.
Engineer opportunities that you create, own and deliver on
Solid performers and high performers are often separated by opportunities they pursue – not by talent or potential.
You need to create personal accountability to show you can wrap your yourself something that delivers and produces results. You have to be able to look back and answer about your performance:
- What did I deliver?
- What positive change did I lead?
- What did I cause?
Therefore, you need a base of leadership results delivery if you want to get ahead. It’s that black and white.
McKinsey Research has consistently shown that one of the key non-financial motivators for high performance is ‘creating opportunities’ for career/professional/performance growth.
Connect into your work with enthusiasm and positive emotion
Leaders who identify high-potential tactical/strategic opportunities and execute these opportunities with speed and confidence create a significant performance advantage. The bigger the challenge, the bigger the opportunity, the more room for performance circle stretch.
“In a world that changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” Mark Zuckerberg
What’s your bank of potential new ‘quick win’ opportunities?
Assessing potential value against risk, what are the opportunities to improve, optimise and innovate in your role?
The following criteria can be used to rank potential opportunities you can exploit:
- What problem does this solve? Who cares?
- Does this help build momentum and make a significant improvement?
- Does this lay a foundation to help achieve longer term business goals?
- Is this consistent with what my boss and I are aligned to? Is this important to my boss?
- Can this be achieved with the resources available in the timeframe required?
- Does this help build the behaviour/culture wanted?
What’s your bigger game?
Creating opportunity comes down to creating choice, seeing the possibility, and having the courage and persistence to get out of your comfort zone to see where it could lead. Change starts with a conversation: how can you expand your networks; expand your thinking; challenge your assumptions; and create the space to think about what change you can put your name on? I’d love to know what you come up with.