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Achieving Rock Star Status: 10 Steps that skyrocket you to fame at work

Achieving Rock Star Status: 10 Steps that skyrocket you to fame at work

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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