You go to the office every day. Your colleagues are smart, but so are you. How do you keep your edge?
Here are five ways to stay on top of your game and exceed expectations.
1. Know the business.
How does your company make money? You should understand this. What are your company's goals and objectives? What is the vision? You should be able to describe your company's role in the marketplace without even thinking about it. What do your customers expect? What makes them happy and keeps them coming back?
You should be able to articulate your thoughts clearly whether it's in person, on the phone or through email. If you're a manager, this is critically important. Managing up, across and connecting with your direct reports will enhance productivity. Be both proactive and responsive. Ignoring someone's email because they aren't senior to you is rude and disrespectful. Show up to meetings on time and keep your face out of your Treo.
3. Embrace change.
This is 2007. New technologies have removed the barriers of time and space, creating an office of the future that is now. Projects move quickly. Projects change. Plans are scrapped and new ones are suggested. The workplace is dynamic and change is inevitable. Don't get caught flat-footed. Keep up with it. Better yet, stay ahead of it. Keep learning.
4. Shadow a sales or service rep.|
This reflects the importance of No. 1. It's one thing to understand your business, it's another to actually experience the challenges of sales and service firsthand. What are the obstacles your sales force faces? What kind of problems are customers having? By sitting on the front line, you may come up with some ideas on how to improve your product or service.
5. Attitude is everything.
There are enough toxic people in the workplace. Don't be one of them. Come to work each day with a smile on your face and a skip in your step. Be happy. Treat others well. Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it. Take a deep breath. How you approach your day has a direct impact on others. Especially if you're a manager.