“The greater the difficulty, the more glory in surmounting it. Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests.” — Epictetus, Greek philosopher

What I’ll unravel today will not be attractive to some, but will be a beacon of light for others.

The second sentence in the quote above screams one word more than any other — opportunity.

“Wait, you mean NOW?”

Perhaps you’re saying, “Opportunity? — We’re just trying to survive.” Guam’s economy has a pulse but it’s weak. Tens of thousands are still out of work and additional federal aid is stalled in Congress.

I think a plan for further stimulus money will see agreement sooner rather than later, but if we’re still stuck on square one when those dollars run out – then what?

Here’s good news — crises and hard times open doors for those who understand the leader’s mindset.

“Go-to” workers are in short supply

In times like these, leaders lean heavily on the people they can trust to deliver, and they’re always open to workers who step up to take on more of the load.

These are the “go-to” employees who get things done.

A team member who makes a larger contribution when the organization is pushed to the wall, like now, will often be seen as someone who is more important to future success.

This can be the deciding factor when a manager has to make staff reductions, or when he/she needs to fill a new supervisory position.

Leaders need help

All across America, politicians control the marketplace, not business people.

There is massive uncertainty everywhere, and that may well include the offices where decisions are made for your organization.

Leaders are going to have trouble seeing the future if their attention is mostly focused on how to meet the next payroll. You can help.

Find ways to add value

1. Take your work to the next level. The term I use in my training is to “do your job like you invented it.” Elevate your performance and assist others to do the same.

People will notice and this is the way you begin to open the door to other possibilities.

2. Look for ways to cut costs without harming performance and customer value. Leaders all want to trim unnecessary expenses. If you can figure a way to boost efficiency and profitability, they should be all ears.

3. Don’t stop with your department. Think outside your personal world of work. How does your job impact others? Could you make changes that would allow another department to realize savings? Most workers don’t think this way and you’ll stand out if you do.

Broadcast your commitment

If you use the first three items above and you can report real-world benefits to the organization, then it’s time to step on the gas.

4. Tell your boss (and your boss’s boss) that you want to do more. Don’t be shy about this. Make sure your statement rings loud and clear with managers and influencers who can approve your request — let them know they can count on you.

Be patient — yet push

You may be chomping at the bit to show your leaders what you’re capable of delivering, but the opportunity you seek may not happen right away.

5. Keep pressing forward while you wait. Some people give up at this point.

They enjoyed some momentum and then progress came to a halt, so they threw in the towel. This is the time to double down on your efforts, not back off.

Revisit numbers one through three on the list and seek further ways to improve functions, and the organization’s bottom line.

6. Continue to push for more. If you really want to step up, keep asking your boss for a side project or task where you can help the company and also distinguish yourself.

The reality: leaders are busy and it’s unlikely that anyone is going to chase you down to do these things. You’ll have to leave your comfort zone and make it happen on your own. That’s more good news because the vast majority of workers won’t, meaning less competition for you.

You want this? Get busy and get after it.

Jerry Roberts presents the 2020 Live2Lead Conference, with John Maxwell and a lineup of world-class speakers. Unique opportunities for your team are available. Contact jroberts@guamtraining.com for details.

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