Rock Star! Two words that summon powerful images of a performer, someone with supercharged energy, and someone who is a bit edgy, yet loved by millions. It may be a term that is more associated with the music industry but the corporate world too is always looking for their next rock star. Managers want solid performers who come to play their A game every single day.
So what does it take to skyrocket to fame as a Rock Star in the workplace? Here are 10 steps that guarantee success.
1. Hone your craft and practice, practice, practice.
Overnight sensations are a myth.
Famed tennis player, Billie Jean King, said “Champions keep playing until they get it right.”
You don’t advance in your career because you do a half-ass job. You advance because you produce great results. Learn the fundamentals. Learn the basics until you consistently produce solid results.
Victories arise because you spend time honing your craft. You don’t wake up one morning as a success. It takes time and is a work in progress. And if you don’t get it right the first time, look for ways to grow. Surround yourself with the right people to help you. Perfecting fundamentals is an essential foundation to your future advancement.
2. Be original.
Challenge norms and break conventions. Come to the table with new ideas and don’t rehash the old ones. Employers are looking for skills beyond the basics. According to a 2010 Critical Skills Survey by the American Management Association, critical thinking and problem solving are valued traits in top performers. Managers want problem solvers.
3. Assemble the right band.
Smooth and soulful harmony doesn’t happen all on its own. Think of your co-workers as your band members. The sound is much better when everyone is playing on the same sheet of music.
Build work relationships. Foster the development. Treat all co-workers with courtesy and respect because it may just be lonely at the top. But when you have your band behind you, you’ll never miss a beat. If you forget the words, they’ll be right there to take up where you leave off.
4. Build your fan club.
Do you know who’s in your fan club? Your boss should definitely be there. If they haven’t signed up yet, find out why. It will be hard to attain success if your boss isn’t one of your fans.
Of course, your boss shouldn’t be the only one that counts. Everyone around you is important. That includes the co-worker that sits beside of you, the receptionist at the front desk, the woman who sells you your coffee, and the other leaders in the company.
Work to expand your fan base if the numbers are lacking. The more fans you have, the more support you’ll have when it’s needed.
5. Play music people want to hear.
Communication is essential for a Rock Star. You don’t want people to turn the channel or tune you out. Even if you’re the most compelling speaker in the world, people won’t listen to you if you don’t have a tune that strikes the chord. Take a minute to think about how to relay the essence of your message.
Without effective communication, a message can turn into inaccuracy, confusion, frustration, or even a disaster if poorly delivered.
6. Don’t be a one-hit wonder.
You’re only as good as your last performance. Yikes! That sounds harsh. Sadly managers remember what is fresh to them. If you had a bad last project, that will be on the forefront of their mind even if the projects before may have been a success. You have to bring “it” every day so that people are left with the right impression. If you do have a bad performance, learn to get out in front of it and overcome it.
7. Choose your venue wisely.
Where you play makes a difference to your success. Every organization has a certain “feel”. That feel is called corporate culture. Culture can be a killer if you don’t embody the same values, attitudes, and beliefs.
You have to be happy with the venue or you are more likely not going to give your best. Bad cultures can drain your energy and you won’t be at peak performance if that happens.
8. Learn to play several instruments.
Do you just want to be the lead singer or do you want to know how to play a couple of instruments as well? Wearing multiple hats at work is sometimes needed. If you are cross trained in several areas, you not only have an expanded skill set but you’ll be able to add more value when needed.
9. Don’t let your ego get the best of you.
If you let your ego fill the room, you won’t have any room left for good ideas or other people. Having an ego is one of the largest barriers to effective teamwork. When people get caught up in their egos, it erodes their effectiveness. Organizations need people to work collaborate in order to meet demanding business requirements.
10. Build your brand.
Rock Stars have a certain sound, look, or perhaps a song that defines them. It’s what makes them unique. Employees should contemplate their own personal brand. It can be an important tool for advancing your career and selling yourself.
What you have to offer can transmit a very powerful message.
Four questions to ask yourself as you build your personal brand:
- What makes you memorable, unique, and relevant?
- What is at your core and your heart?
- What is your winning strategy?
- What is your marketing strategy? How do you work to maintain your brand?
A successful brand creates a consistent and targeted impression. A brand doesn’t just happen. Time and effort goes into a branding strategy that works. After having a thought-provoking session with yourself in which you answer these questions, write your personal brand statement. It’s your value added statement.
When you’ve done that, work it, baby, work it.