Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Orna Drawas. Her focus is on helping working professionals become rock stars at work, while achieving work-life balance. She is the author of the book, Perform Like A Rock Star and Still Have Time for Lunch and her book was recently on the Amazon’s list of Top 10 Books for Business Success.
As a business trainer and coach focused on leadership and productivity challenges, Orna works with professionals in Fortune 500 and smaller companies, who are striving to up-level their performance and achieve more than they ever thought possible.
As you read Orna’s words, think about how you can apply the concepts to your own situation. I find her simple framework resonates with my experience, and the beauty is in the simplicity. It’s elegance in action. One thing I’ll add is whether you get a promotion or not, make it a point to enjoy the journey by living your values and playing to your strengths on the job.
Without further ado, here’s Orna …
Good News! According to CNNMoney, companies intend to increase salaries and promotional opportunities in 2011 by doing everything they can to retain and develop top talent, rather than risk losing key employees. So there is no time like the present to angle for that promotion.
It’s 2011, so what’s on tap? Well, it’s time to do The Double-Rung RAP!
Up the corporate ladder, it’s a long way to go
Been workin’ long and late, but the goin’s awfully slow
Need more than one rung to be true to my map
That’s why I keep practicing the Double-Rung Rap.
Work on big things that’re worthy of da’ man
With a good attitude – I’ll make him a fan
It comes down to results ‘cause they’re what really matter
As I skip a few rungs on the way up that ladder.
The best thing about a rap is it tells it like it is!
What can we all learn from Snoop Dog, Eminem and Jay-Z about getting a promotion in the corporate world? The RAP no doubt! The RAP applies to everything in life… from the crib to the boardroom!
The world has changed. It used to be: more, faster, bigger – stay the course and you will get ahead. Not anymore. The impact of technology, globalization and flatter organizations have changed that old paradigm forever. Now it’s about real RESULTS, a passionate ATTITUDE and all the right PRIORITIES!
(R) Real RESULTS.
Those who get results get ahead. Period, end of story. In real estate, it’s location, location, location . . . in business, it’s results, results, results. Simple as that. Who really cares that you work 80 hours a week, respond to every e-mail and personal request within five minutes or cross 50 things off your list. In the end, it all comes down to the Big R – Results. What have you accomplished – really accomplished – that is helping move yourself, your team, your company, your product or service to the next level?
Hey, Lady? What you mean – results? Simple, dude. Understand your customers better. Find ways to help them. Make it easier for them to do business with you. Try to innovate. Develop a new service or product feature. Fix an old problem. Find new solutions. Improve broken processes. Think of new ways to drive revenue. Get out of the freakin’ box and have an impact. Go above and beyond to do more than is necessary. It’s not that hard.
And one more thing . . . don’t be a slacker. The world hates slackers. Don’t come in late, sneak out early, miss a couple of deadlines (even just by a little) and barely get the job done. Surprise! Everyone does notice. And no, you will not get promoted (much less keep your job).
(A) Passionate ATTITUDE
Hire for attitude, train for success. That is the executive motto for finding the best candidates to lead an organization. Pride, passion and belief do more to move an organization forward than the cleanest computer code, the cleverest ad campaign or the most balanced budget … which are all good, but require passion to make them great. “Employers want to see a whatever-it-takes attitude and a solution-oriented team player poised for promotion,” writes V. Jean Maye in LATimes.com.
The attitude problem has gained increased attention as studies have shown that behavior — good or bad — is actually contagious! Dr. Will Felps at the Rotterdam School of Management recently published a study that measured the effects of negative behavior on a team. Groups in his study infected with a Bad Apple performed 40% worse than similar groups without a Bad Apple.
Let’s face it, those with the best attitude are sought after for the most important projects, given the biggest clients and asked to lead the best teams. Somehow, a good attitude translates into: reliable, competent, intelligent and likable. You want to be that person!
And whatever you do, don’t be difficult. It’s good to stand out from the crowd, but not in a negative way. If you are high maintenance, complain a lot, sweat the small stuff and generally make life more difficult for your boss and others . . . no promotion for you.
(P) The Right PRIORITIES
What are your top priorities? And better yet – do they align with your boss’ top three? If the answer is ‘not exactly’, change them … now!
Fact is, no matter how hard you work, how long your hours or how much you think you’re accomplishing, if you are not focused on those things that are most important to your boss and the organization, you are not doing a good job, at least according to him. And frankly that’s about all that matters. He honestly doesn’t care that you worked late or over the weekend, that you missed your daughter’s soccer game or that you checked e-mail while vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard. All that matters to him is whether you were or were not accomplishing those things that help him and the company move forward and be successful.
This is even more important when you finally realize that getting a promotion is not as simple as being the best person for the job. In FastCompany.com, Bill Breen points out that “you’re not typically competing against many other candidates when angling for a promotion. But in reality, most of the time, the new job is pre-wired. Many managers already know exactly who they want to promote and only that person gets real consideration.” Fact is, your boss is your best promoter. Bring him value by helping him accomplish his most important objectives and you set yourself up for rock star status.
RAP to Success
So, dude, there are no shortcuts. But one thing is for sure. The journey is full of rewards. As with everything in life, the more you put in, the more you get out. Make it your mission to make the most of every opportunity. Live your life with passion and give it all you’ve got every time. Put faith in knowing that the rewards will exceed your expectations and that promotion you’ve been longing for can be within your grasp.
Step into the hood and kick it up a notch or two. You’ll see it’s worth it when you do!