In this five-part series, we look at the actions needed to stand out in today’s crowded marketplace.
Action #3—Be a Valued Resource
I will never forget approaching an extraordinary artist and asking him to explain a bit of his technique. There was no one waiting and I had already purchased his art. I knew he wasn’t sensing that I was trying to steal his business, nor did I get the impression that he was especially shy or introverted. He just worked organically and, in a way, almost magically. For him to put into words HOW he did what he did was well outside of his skill set. He was not a teacher, a resource, or likely to ever become a mentor in his craft, even though he was immensely talented.
Similarly, you will find many such “artists” in the business world. Others, who could effectively teach, are just too busy to pause from working on their projects to stop and share what they have learned with others in any deliberate way. Yet, the need for such knowledge transfer is invaluable, never-ending. This is where you come in!
Change in the workplace is moving at the speed of light. New systems, products and techniques are being developed daily that can greatly enhance our impact and productivity and need to be shared. If you are the one doing so, you can serve your profession profoundly, establish yourself as a thought leader, and make life-long friends, all at the same time.
Perhaps the biggest pushback to sharing a just-discovered resource or useful technique is that feeling we are not yet “good enough” to present our work or finding to others. We may not believe we have achieved “pro status” in our market or organization. The irony is, this is precisely how one develops such credentials!
Consider the great coaches of professional sports. Many of the very best coaches were not the best players. What they have in common is not their former prowess on the ball field, but their ability to inspire, teach and coach.
While, of course, not everyone has the gifting to become an extraordinary teacher or coach, all of us can use the power of becoming a valued resource to position ourselves prominently on the “radar” of our industry or organization, often without ever standing in front of anyone. Social media and email are the great, new, level playing fields where even introverts can thrive with consistent, strategic effort. Here’s how…
How to become a powerful resource in six months:
- Document Everything You Learn. Did you stumble upon a time-saving technique, app, or resource today? Have you just completed a big project at work? Save your article links, ah-ha’s, or project “lessons learned” in an app like Evernote so you don’t forget it. Then, commit to sharing your tip or list with at least one other person within the week. Send them a LinkedIn message or email with your “FYI.” If it has been a while or you are close, you might even suggest to meeting up for coffee to share your finding. Soon you will be in the habit of routinely sharing what you are learning in real time. Do so consistently and in six months, people will begin to follow you online and reach out to you in other ways to see what you have to share next.