There’s much power to be harnessed when you build a reputation of being the ‘go-to’ person. You become known as the smart one, the fixer, the closer and ultimately earn the reputation of a legend within the company.
But how do you become this person? Importantly, how do you become them without being used — and how can you leverage off this power.
1. Ears and eyes open
You’ll need to have a natural ability to be able to hear and see things without being obvious about it. Who’s working on what etc. It helps to rotate where you eat your lunch, mix up the people you have coffees with. Ask lots of questions and listen, listen, listen.
You’ll need to develop an ability to foresee possible issues that need fixing to begin with. Whether it is your project, your team’s or another department’s. Being equipped with a solution before you’re approached for advice is very powerful, so pay attention in meetings and read the correspondence. All of it.
People often go to someone else because they fear making the ‘wrong decision’. You’ll find yourself quickly becoming the go-to person if you build a reputation as being decisive when faced with a problem or situation. Remember to act with confidence. Dither, and your reputation will suffer.
4. Ask questions
Helping people sort out their problems is also a very powerful tool. Whether it be a personal or departmental issue, asking questions will ensure that whoever came to you with the problem will leave empowered and singing your praises.
5. Tackle the hard stuff
Say yes to the difficult projects that no-one wants to take. When you succeed you’ll be cast as a hero by your colleagues and superiors.
6. Go outside your comfort zone
Don’t be afraid to weigh into situations within other departments if you know you can add value and make their lives easier. But don’t be a nag; always be helpful and willing to do what needs to be done to fix a situation
7. Build a profile
Image is powerful. If you’re mentioned by the right people and often, you will automatically be someone people want to know, want to work with and to go to for help and advice. So network at the right events, get media coverage if there are opportunities to raise your profile, and always be ‘in the role’.