6 Moves To Turbocharge Your Career in 2015

Welcome to 2015! A brand new year to be all we can be! As we pursue our yearlong quest for optimal personal productivity, many of us make New Year’s resolutions.

Instead of making resolutions I set goals. Because the goals you set today are the actions you keep for the year.   Tomorrow in this spot I will discuss the importance of goal setting to get things done in this New Year.

Regardless of your stance on resolutions, we can all make career moves. Career moves are simple adjustments to way we conduct ourselves in our professional and personal lives. So, on this first day of a sparkling New Year; here are 6 moves guaranteed to turbocharge your career in 2015.

Move #1: Be Flexible

The odds are that the way you’ll do work on January 1st of 2015 will not be the way you’ll be doing work on December 31st of 2015. In a recent Gallop poll more than 50% of employees responded by saying they have experienced “significant change” in the way they worked in the past 12 months.

From reorganizations to new workflows, and layoffs; change is a big part of the workplace. Make sure you are flexible. Your boss will see that you are someone who can get the job done. No matter what’s happening around you.

Move #2: Stay Current

Keep up with trends in your industry by either reading trade, business and general publications or checking out online sources. Then, take what you have learned and apply it to solve problems in your workplace. It will make you a more valued employee.

 Move # 3: Strengthen Your Network

In today’s workplace sandbox everyone has to play well with others. Fitting within the network of the workplace is a part of the new definition of a great employee. The idea that you can be an individual contributor and be successful is an idea of the past. Why? Look at the numbers, research from the Corporate Executive Board indicates that 40% of all employees work with more than 20 people on a given day; and more than 80% work with at least 10 people. It is arithmetic! People who can build strong networks on the job and outside of the job have a big leg up in getting things done.   Next week in this space I will review ways to power up your networking.

Move # 4: Seek Leadership Opportunities

No matter how small, large, trivial or daunting the task may seem; pursue a strategy to actively seek opportunities for leadership. For example: chairing employee teams, or leading projects. “Be selective about taking on leadership assignments; but, aggressively seek them,” says General Colin Powell. “There’s a difference between begging for these opportunities and raising your hand,” he warns, “but if someone says there’s a job to be done, raise your hand first and then ask for help. Powell ended by saying, “The biggest mistake a person who would like to get ahead or stay employed can make is passing up the opportunity to lead.”

Move # 5: Make Friends with the IT Guy

Technology is the lifeblood of a productive workplace. According to the Corporate Executive Board the average number of work-related emails we receive each day has increased fourfold since 2005; underscoring the explosive importance of technology in the office. This makes the IT Guy and the IT department, not just another employee or department; but a vital part of the workforce.

However, don’t stop with making nice with just the IT Guy. Making friends with admins is an important move as well. In the 2015 workplace power, authority and decision making is cropping up in some unexpected places.

Administrative assistants are at the center of it all. Underestimating their authority—or missing the opportunity to develop a strong relationship with the IT Guy or the admins is something no employee can afford to do.

Move #6: Become A Thought Leader

A thought leader is an individual that is recognized in and out of the company as an authority in selected areas of specialization, making that person a go-to source.

Strategy consultant Dorie Clark, wrote in the Harvard Business Review 6 steps on How to became a Thought Leader; 3 of those steps include creating a robust online presence, networking, and public speaking.

I urge you to read this post to discover the secrets of sharing the knowledge you already have with the world as a thought leader. In the post you will learn that good employees are nice to have; but thought leaders are irreplaceable — and indispensable.

The Bottom Line: You are the Turbocharger

You are much more than an employee. You are flexible. You are a networker; a leader and a thought leader — you are a turbocharger!!!! A turbocharger knows that the arc of your career is in your hands. In other words you are in control.

Happy New Year!!!! Go out and make 2015 your best year ever!!!

©Copyright 2015 Marben Bland

Need an inspiring speaker for a seminar, workshop or conference keynote? Let’s talk! My unique background in the military, business and the faith communities allows me to speak effectively on many topics of interest to your audience. From a project management seminar to stirring speech about the importance of leadership. I can give a presentation that will leave your audience entertained and informed. Call me today at (608) 358-1309 or email me marben@marbenbland.com

Marben Bland is a business strategist professional speaker, faith leader and writer. Specializing in assisting business with the acquisition of human and financial capital along with the strategies required to succeed in the marketplace. Find more post at www.marbenbland.com

A Thoughtful Case for Thought Leadership

ericsevareidI grew up informed, fascinated and amazed by the commentary of Eric Sevareid, the legendary elite World War II correspond who’s views of politics, people and places were an important staple of the CBS Evening News.

Sevareid with his mastery of the written word, and the power of his simple straightforward delivery was my first exposure to Thought Leadership. Today, nearly four decades after his last Evening News commentary, the concept of Thought Leadership has been totally unleashed and now anyone with a social media account can – like Sevareid – distribute their views to a worldwide audience.

However, unlike Sevareid, our thought leadership can be broadcast without editorial oversight. While for some this freedom can be seen as the ultimate independence, I see it as the ultimate duty to present thought leadership ideas in ways that are clear, concise, correct and convincing.

What Is Thought Leadership?

Like most buzzwords, thought leadership is an often misused and misunderstood term.  But what is it really? To me, it is simply sharing your knowledge on relevant topics within the field of your expertise.

A Case for Thoughtful Thought Leadership

I believe that everyone is a Thought Leader because we all have a specialty that can be shared with others. The question is will you decide to showcase that knowledge?

My answer is that you should.  But thoughtfully – and with wisdom.

How do you do that?  … Here are some thoughts.

1. Discover Your Audience

Find out the people and groups who are interested in your expertise. For example if your expertise is in the Civil War direct your thought leadership efforts to Civil War aficionados by finding online groups, activities and clubs that will have an interest in your thoughts.

2. Identify and Answer Questions

Thought Leaders show their true value by being the “go to person” for solving problems. Add value by finding the vexing questions of your audience and answer them. For example, many of my LinkedIn Ninja blogs originate from client questions.

3. Spread Your Thoughts Far and Wide

Distribute your ideas across multiple platforms and multiple channels. Today’s social media landscape makes it very easy to take the same content and share it in many ways. In my own case, I share my writings as emails and Tweets. They are on Facebook, LinkedIn and soon on will be on video on YouTube. I also keep a robust speaking schedule, again allowing me to showcase expertise.

4. Create Consistent Content

Now that you have an audience you must “feed the beast” by giving them consistent content.  Because if you don’t, they will turn to someone else who will. For example, I deliver fresh content three days per week, typically posting a LinkedIn/Career/Professional blog on Sunday, A Faith blog on Tuesday and A Commentary blog on Thursdays. While this may seem like a lot of writing and work, it keeps me – and more importantly – my audience engaged in the important thought leadership questions of the day.

5. The R.O.I. of Thought Leadership

The investment of time and effort involved to produce thought leadership content has a payoff. While it’s not always immediate, thought leaders can expect:

  • Employment offers because of demonstrated expertise
  • Reputation as a professional problem solver because you “wrote the book” on how to solve specific problems
  • Speaking opportunities because everyone wants to hear the expert

The Bottom Line: Great Thoughts Need A Thoughtful Leader

Fat AlbertAnother icon of my youth was the Bill Cosby inspired character Fat Albert said it best. “You know more that you think you know.” The greatest thought leaders of today’s TV and social media landscape, Oprah, Dr. Phil, and Richard Branson all started off just like you and me. Experts on critical topics become thought leaders because they have the courage to share what they know with others.  So hey, hey, hey great thoughts needs a thoughtful leader…and, while you may not become the next Eric Sevareid, you will become the next you.  And that is a thought worth spreading.