By Charles Alvarez, Contributor, the Price of Business Show. * Sponsored
“Your outlook upon life, your estimate of yourself, your estimate of your value are largely colored by your environment. Your whole career will be modified, shaped molded by your surroundings, by the character of the people with whom you come in contact every day.” (Orison SwettMarden)
Everything in life and business is relationships. Everything you accomplish or fail to accomplish will be bound up with other people in some way. Your ability to form the right relationships, with the right people, at every stage of your life and career, will be the critical determinant of your success and achievement, and will have an inordinate impact on how quickly you achieve your goals.
The more people you know, and who know you in a positive way, the more successful you will be at anything you attempt. One person, at the right time, in the right place, can open a door for you that can change your life and save you years of hard work.
No One Does It Alone
A key part of goal setting is for you to identify the people, groups and organizations whose help you will require to achieve your goals. To accomplish goals of any kind, you will need the help of lots of people. Who are they?
There are three general categories of people whose help and cooperation you will require in the years ahead. These are the people in and around your business, your family and friends, and people in groups and organizations outside your business or social circle. You need to develop a strategy to work effectively with each group.
Your Key Business Relationships
Start with your business. Who are the most important people in your business life? What is your plan to develop higher quality relationships with them? Make a list of everyone who works inside and outside of your business – your boss, colleagues, co-workers, sub- ordinates and especially, your customers, supplies and vendors.
Which of these people have the greater ability to help you or hurt you in the achievement of your business or career goals?
Sometimes I ask my audiences how many of the people present are in customer service? Only a few hands go up. I then point out that everyone is in the business of customer service, no matter what they call it, or what they do.
Your Customer Service Strategy
One of the best strategies you can use is to make a list of everything that you believe that you have been hired to do. Answer the question, “What value do I provide my customers/client?” and write down everything you can think of. Then, take this list to your boss and ask your boss to organize this list in order of his or her priority. What is most important to your boss? What is second most important? What is third most important? And so on.
From that moment onward, discipline yourself to work on your boss’s top task all day long. Make sure that, whenever your boss sees you or talks to you, you are working on what he or she has told you is his or her top priority for you. This will do more to help you in your career than any other single decision you make.
Two Key Qualities For Promotability
In a survey of 104 Chief Executive Officers reported in Success Magazine a few years ago, they were presented with 20 qualities of an ideal employee, and asked to select the most important. 86% of the senior executives selected two qualities as being more important for career success and advancement than any others. They were first, the ability to set priorities, to separate the relevant from the irrelevant. Second, it was the ability to get the job done fast, to execute quickly.
There is nothing that will help you more in your career than to get the reputation for being the kind of person who gets the most important job done quickly and well.
Hard Work On The Wrong Task?
But here’s the catch. Many people are working very hard at their jobs, but they are not working on what their boss considers to be the most important job that they could possibly be doing. The sad thing is that if you do an unimportant job very well, this could hurt your career and even threaten your job. But if you work on your boss’s top priority, and you get it done quickly and well, this can help you more than any other single task you could perform.
As conditions change, keep the lines of communication open with your boss. Be sure that what you are doing today is still your boss’s top priority. And then make a game of doing it fast. There is nothing that makes a boss happier than to have someone who gets the job done quickly. Be sure that you are that person.
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