Jim Collins said in his book Good to Great that one of the keys to being a great organization is to have the right people on the bus even if you don’t know where they are going to sit. Great talents will overcome the ambiguity and become productive quickly while the talentless will provide little even with assigned seats.
Let’s say you are the talent. You are on the bus. Hurrah! But, wait a minute: the bus is on fire, running on flats, and about to plunge off a cliff!
Time to find yourself a new bus. Going down with the ship, er bus, is heroic in novels and movies. It’s a waste of your potential in real life.
Ogpreneurs, high talent and motivated people, can do a lot but no one is a miracle worker. Life is short and the time we have to truly make a difference is more limited than we like to consider.
Only stay on a bus that is going somewhere you want to go and has a reasonably good shot of getting there with your help.
Start something new in the next month that will cover your salary for the year. Even if you have already generated more than enough profit to pay for yourself this year, do it again.
Here is the challenge: come up with a new product, service, offering, or fund raising campaign that meets an emerging need of your core market and see how fast you can rack up enough new profit to pay for yourself.
Another alternative: devise new marketing and see if you can “sell out” an existing product or service, generating enough new profit to cover your organization’s investment in you for the year.
Want to take this to the next level? Do the same thing for your entire team.
Why is this important, beyond the obvious? If you can do this each year as your first personal project then you will rarely have to look for a new job unless it is your choice to do so. If you can get in the habit of creating new ideas and marketing and getting them out there quicker than ever before, you will get better at doing it.
Approach your work as a challenge to generate much more value than you are paid rather than just fulfilling your job description. This is empowering for you.
This is a great question that orgpreneurs ask of themselves all the time. They see an opportunity to fill a gap or create something new and think, “Why not my job?”
Why not make it part of what you do?
Why not suggest the new program and then embrace making it happen when you get the green light? Or just go for it and scrounge the resources?
If you don’t, then you fall into thinking ‘not my job’ instead, which is deadly to your career, organization and, ultimately, your mission.
In my experience working with associations and non-profits, the people whose job descriptions are always playing catch up are the true orgpreneurs. They don’t let their job description limit what they will tackle in order to pursue a goal that matters. The job description of these staff shows where they were, not where they will be.
Next time you face a challenge or an opportunity, try thinking ‘why not my job’ and see where it takes you.
My friend Roberta Matuson has a great post on her blog this week about not letting the economy stop you from pursuing your career goals. Are You Allowing Yourself to be a Victim of the Economy?
Yes, I know…it’s a lousy economy and jobs are scarce. But they do exist. I’m frequently hearing people complain about the way they are being treated at work, yet these same people don’t even have an updated resume nor have they done much to expand their network. No one else will be able to help you if you aren’t willing to help yourself. Here are some tips on how to get out of victim mode so that you can move your life forward.
Her five tips are applicable to any endeavor and not just for finding your next job. Worth a read.
I’ll also add that I believe the organizational job market is about to heat up significantly. Now is a great time to make sure you have the right talent on board. If you wait until the recovery is fully in place it will be too late.