2. Do jobs others won’t
Being excellent at what you do will make you valuable and give you a place on your team. But becoming an expert at your craft takes time. What can you do to prove your worth right now?
Take on jobs others won’t—even if they are outside of your craft or comfort zone. It is said that an aid group in South Africa once wrote to missionary and explorer David Livingstone asking, “Have you found a good road to where you are? If so, we want to know how to send other men
to join you.” Livingstone replied, “If you have men who will come only if they know there is a good road, I don’t want them. I want men who will come even if there is no road at all.”
That’s the kind of attitude you need to have as you work with someone who can’t or won’t lead. You need to be willing to do what others won’t.
Few things gain the respect of a boss, a team, and the top leaders of an organization more quickly than someone with a whatever-it-takes attitude.
These people are willing and able to think outside of their job description and tackle the kinds of jobs that others are too proud or too frightened to take on. These things are what often create job security, elevate them above their peers, and get them promoted to a role where they can make a greater positive impact.
Perhaps you already possess a whatever-it-takes mindset, and if a task is honest, ethical, and beneficial, you’re willing to take it on. If so, good for you! Now all you need is to know how to direct that attitude into action so that you’re doing the things that will make the greatest impact and create influence with others.
Here are the top ten things I recommend you do to become the kind of person others look to:
- Take the tough jobs
- Pay your dues
- Be willing to work in obscurity
- Succeed with difficult people
- Put yourself on the line
- Admit faults but never make excuses
- Be the first to step up and help
- Take responsibility for your responsibilities
- Perform tasks that are “not your job”
3. Become your boss’s go-to producer
All leaders are looking for people who can step up and make a difference when it matters. When they find such people, they come to rely on them and are inevitably influenced by them. Team members who can make things happen are their go-to players.
They demonstrate consistent competence, responsibility, and dependability. While becoming an expert at your craft is driven by a desire for excellence, and taking on jobs others won’t is about the willingness to jump in anywhere to contribute, being a producer is about having the will to win.
Few things elevate a person above his peers the way becoming a solid producer does. Everyone admires go-to players and looks to them when the heat is on—not only their bosses, but also their peers and team members. When I think of my go-to players, I think of the people who always produce.
Here are key ways you can prove your value as a go-to producer:
- Produce when the pressure’s on
- Produce when the resources are few
- Produce when the momentum is low
- Produce when the load is heavy
- Produce when the leader is absent
- Produce when the time is limited
Why you should take the road less travelled
The things I’m suggesting you do to prove yourself are not easy. And they can produce a lot of stress, especially since I’m asking you to take the high road as you work with your boss. But doing these things will give you the best chance to shine and succeed, even working for someone who doesn’t lead.