Comedian Steve Martin famously gives this advice, “Be so good they can’t ignore you”. If you just focus on getting really good, Martin says, people will come to you and results will happen.
Many of you have just received your annual merit increases, and this can be either an exciting thing, or a frustrating time. If you are not making as much income as you feel you deserve I have some advice that I have learned from others over the years.
#1 Focus on what you can effect, and not on what you cannot.
#2 Do good work and share it with people – Austin Kleon, in his book Steal Like an Artist calls this the NOT-SO-SECRET formula.
#3 Communicate the right way.
- Be positive and sincere in all your communication.
- When speaking to those above you try to share in terms of dollars.
- When speaking to those adjacent or below you, try to share in terms of emotion and support.
- Offer criticism only if you can be constructive.
#4 Be patient and realistic.
- The old way: If you wanted to make xx amount in 3 years, or have a certain title, you would likely be told to follow this method. Research what level you would need to become to reach this pay in your company. Then research what are the expectations of that position, and what are all the prerequisites. Focus on your GAPs, and how you can demonstrate the skills required to justify this promotion. Then focus on doing those things and documenting them in your Max-P.
- The new way: Focus on your value to the organization. Document and communicate in terms of dollars. Be visible by doing good work and sharing it. Be extremely focused on the areas where you offer the most value (80/20 rule). And finally, focus on getting results, not on getting noticed.
#5 Seek a mentor and openly discuss your aspirations. Everyone can perform better with a coach in their corner.
#6 Consider career management a continual effort, not a twice a year Max P requirement.
#7 Be the best version of you. Kohler needs your unique skills and passion…
- Kathryn Clouse has a great article on this where she states, “Differences bring unique perspectives to the table for problem solving and often lead to innovation.” (link to article)
#8 Money isn’t the destination, it is simply a tool along the journey.
- What I have found talking with successful people is that great wealth comes after they stop looking for it. Their focus was on their cause, and building or doing something great, and the money was simply a side-effect. Read any biography and you will see this story line repeated. If your not into reading, a great video documentary / biography is Becoming Warren Buffet
I am sure others have great suggestions and insights. Share your comments.
Wishing everyone prosperity and success – Douglas Diemel