Six Ways To Multiply Your Value
A common wish among workers is that they could clone themselves to finish their overflowing workload. Since this is not possible, you must learn to increase your productivity. When you want to make a huge jump in your performance, you must focus on radical improvements. A little progress is not bad, but in today’s super competitive world, you must multiply your value to have a good chance of reaching your ultimate goal.
Ever wonder why there are those who are able to control business empires while you struggle to handle your little business? While hard work is an essential ingredient, the objectives to which it is applied matters even more. Here are suggestions that can bring your performance to the next level.
Improve your public speaking skills. Good public speaking is one of the most effective paths to increase your influence. Everyone knows how difficult it is to speak in front of many people, so if you can do this decently, it is truly impressive. For entrepreneurs, no written communication can motivate your employees more than verbally inspiring them. In the case of employees, being proficient in public speaking will get the attention of upper management and put you on the fast track for promotions. Note, too, the many inherent advantages in this mode of communication. There are many things you can say that would not turn out well if just written down. Your manner of delivery, tone of voice and expressions are all factors in making your message clear.
Maximize your delegation. Most people, especially those in the old school or the newly promoted, are reluctant to delegate more than they must. Worse is that there are also those who are insecure and do not wish to teach others the tasks that only they know, for fear that they will be replaced or be less indispensable. Unfortunately, there is some basis to these fears. In the case of entrepreneurs, it is indeed very possible that the employee they are teaching may someday work for a competitor or even start a competing venture himself. For employees, they may indeed be replaced or passed over by their subordinate. However, these are risks that you must take if you plan to improve your situation. Do not be afraid to break with tradition. I have written an entire article on this, wherein a position that nobody wanted was transformed into an ideal job when tedious tasks were delegated.
To have better control over delegated functions, you can copy the technique I learned from reading a book by the legendary CEO of General Electric, Jack Welch. He selects certain tasks to study in detail down to the level of the actual person doing the actual work; he called this process “drilling down.” This way, not only does he get a good idea of what is actually happening, but his subordinates are also less prone to be lax.
Learn critical skills continuously. This spans a very broad area, from attending seminars to know or brush up on certain functions, to investing years in obtaining an MBA. The key here is to never stop learning as fast as you can. Do not rely on learning by experience alone. To be cost effective, however, make sure what you are studying is truly relevant to the demands of your work. Time is so scarce that you must be extremely selective and not be side-tracked by peripheral issues.
Manage your priorities. Do not waste your time dwelling on tasks that have little value. We usually dwell too much on urgent but not too significant matters and neglect to allocate time for projects with major long-term impact. Minimize fire fighting and accept the fact that you have to give up something in order to achieve a greater good as time and resources are limited.
Actively build and cultivate your business contacts. Everyone knows that being on friendly terms with a key person can give you a business advantage. However, most believe that there is little you can do to improve this situation. While it is true that there are people born with all the right connections, any person with determination can aspire to have the same number of contacts. The key here is to plant goodwill long before you reap. It is not sufficient to know somebody, but that person must also value the relationship so that you can have mutually beneficial ties.
Dress for success. I know of a friend who is very brilliant in his work. Unfortunately, a co-worker who was not as bright was promoted instead of him. When I asked why this happened, he said that it was probably due to his better taste in clothes. Looking at my friend, he probably was correct. He was a civil engineer but dressed like a construction worker! Do not discount the importance of proper image.
Big improvements usually demand a lot of effort. Most of my suggestions are neither easy nor inexpensive to accomplish. However, they promise a vast improvement. Be prepared to sacrifice a lot in order to accomplish your goals.
*Originally published by the Manila Bulletin. C-4, Sunday, August 12, 2012. Written by Ruben Anlacan, Jr. (President, BusinessCoach, Inc.) All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or copied without express written permission of the copyright holders.