Not too long ago I took an online business assessment test on a whim. The test was built to evaluate your business decisions and determine what type of work roles are a best fit for you. The results, I must say, were eerily close to the truth but at the same time brought clear realizations of myself that I never thought of.
The test found out that I was a high achiever, who has a passion to lead. What really stood out was that it said I avoided high visibility projects that require strenuous work but little probability of success. I instead embraced and thrived on high to mid-end visibility projects where I was confident I could deliver stellar results.
I’m still scratching my head wondering what that really means, but I do believe that it qualifies me to share some useful tips on how to get ahead in business management.
Don’t emulate the person you admire; emulate their boss instead.
This is a good rule of thumb to live by. Similar to the old adage, why aim for the moon when you can shoot for the stars. Let me be honest with you, once you get promoted to the same position as the person you admired you start to realize that they were not really all that great. Best to always focus one step ahead of your competition.
Surround yourself with people a lot smarter than you.
I’m quite sure everyone has heard this line. The truth is that the really smart people just want the freedom of being really smart and want to be able to continue to do things really smart people do. They don’t necessarily want to deal with the day to day drudgery of leading and molding a team. Make it so the smart people around you have the freedom to focus on doing their smart things while you lead them down the road to year over year double digit growth.
Take the job everyone passes on.
That assignment where everyone is shirking their head because it requires relocation, extra hours, or working through the holidays; yep that’s the one, take it. That sacrifice in the beginning pays dividends in the end. Companies are looking for people willing to do more than the bare minimum and those willing to do just enough are a dime a dozen. Offshore anyone?
It’s okay to be arrogant and lead through the nose
When you know you’re the most talented guy in the room, its okay to tout it and lead the smart guys by the nose. You’ll find how easily it is to become a leader because most people are comfortable just sitting back and being led. Just remember just because they are smart doesn’t make them leadership material. That’s why you’re there.
Blast your own horn
I must admit this is one of the steps I struggle with the most. Whoever said that your achievements speak for themselves didn’t want anyone else hogging up the podium as they plow for hours about all the great things they have done. You have to flaunt your accomplishments and turn your mistakes into learning experiences for bigger accomplishments. If you can’t vocalize the impact your presence makes then why should you expect to be recognized.