Develop An Owner’s Mindset
Test yourself to see if you have an owner’s mindset by answering these questions:
- Do you work from nine to five every weekday or do you live the company’s mission and vision, 24/7?
- Do you focus on the work you have to do this week or do you think about next month and next year?
- Do you try to make clients happy or do you do everything humanly possible to delight them because you know the company depends on it?
- Do you work on what’s urgent or on what is really important and can provide high leverage?
- Do you adjust to fit the company’s culture or do you define the culture, through your actions?
- Are you reactive or proactive?
- Do you stick to a tried-and-true approach or do you find new ways to do things?
- Do you try until you fail or do you refuse to accept that failure is not an option?
Actionable steps to help you develop an owner’s mindset:
- Know the business
- Do more with less
- Go beyond your job description
Build a Habit of Learning
Learning is the most important skill you will ever develop. Develop a personal growth machine, using the 5 Circles Methodology:
- Capture news and real-time updates
- Set up smart Google Alerts
- Review your daily email
- Curate, prioritize, and automate the flow of information
- Map out the best resources (blogs, publications, company websites)
- Signup for email updates (newsletters)
- Test quality and eliminate content that is not valuable, optimizing for 10 resources
- Set up time to read content weekly
- Create and commit to a reading list
- Map out a list of books to read (using recommendations sites and Amazon)
- Make a commitment to read X number of books every year
- Buy 1-2 books
- Start reading immediately
- Follow and engage with influencers
- Identify influencers in your industry
- Follow them on one main platform, to optimize your feeds
- Engage with their content
- Reach out and ask for a conversation to learn more
- Join a community
- Map out communities and events (using Meetup, Eventbrite, and/or Slack)
- Become an observer and/or an active participant
- Connect with community members in real life
Make An Impact
To make an impact:
- Make sure you are long-term greedy and consider the big picture in every decision
- How will this decision play out now and in the future?
- If I spend more time and effort right now, will I get better results later?
- Am I fixing the problem or just the symptoms?
- Use first-principle thinking to ask the right questions
- Use the 5 Whys technique
- Avoid sunk cost bias
- Develop a system of checks and balances
- Consider alternative costs
- Let go of emotional attachments
- Focus on the work that matters, using a prioritization matrix
- Tasks that are urgent and could have a high impact should be prioritized and worked on now.
- Tasks that are not urgent but have a potential to make an impact should be prioritized as do next.
- Tasks that are urgent but are not expected to have a big impact should be done last
- Tasks with no urgency and no clear potential for impact should be eliminated
Jump On Opportunities
How to be an opportunity-digger and create opportunities at work:
- Volunteer internally
- Initiate a project
- Offer to take the load off of your manager
- Seek mentorship
- Help others
- Do an internal internship, to trade your existing skills for opportunities to learn new ones
How to identify problems:
- Find pains
- Find ways to increase efficiency
- Do proactive opportunity-digging
How to solve problems:
- View problems as opportunities
- Figure it out
Use lateral thinking to find a creative solution
- Look for alternatives
- Think about the problem from a first-principle perspective
- Find the worst possible solution
- Change your state
- Gain a wide variety of experiences
Make An Influence
The influence formula:
- Define the purpose of your narrative. What goal are you trying to achieve? What is the end result your story should deliver?
- Identify the challenge or barrier you’ll need to overcome. Why is your counterpart resistant? What are they afraid of? Why aren’t they on board? What are the objections you need to overcome?
- Identify the benefit or motivation for your counterpart. What is in it for them? If you are successful in your actions, how will it benefit them? There must always be an upside for them, otherwise you won’t get people motivated enough to take action. Focus on seeing the world from your counterpart’s perspective and ask yourself how they can benefit from the situation.
- Flip the script. Create a new context and connect the dots, to craft a story that drives action. The idea here is to present the situation in a way that shows your counterpart how taking action towards your goal is going to benefit them or help them avoid pain.
- Support your story by gathering data, collecting feedback, or doing the research needed to validate your claims. The influence narrative will be much stronger if it is built on facts, not just your opinions.
- Call for action. What do they need to do to turn this narrative into a reality? It is important to make this call for action very specific. Don’t just ask for help. Instead, ask them to take a specific action .
Learn To Manage Up, Self and Across
- Get to know your manager
- Understand their goals
- Learn to anticipate their needs
Manage your own work
- Tell your manager how to use your talent
- Be your manager’s eyes and ears
- Learn how to have difficult conversations
- Get to know your colleagues and build relationships with them
- Learn what drives them and what they care about
- Gain credibility
- Find some common ground
- Craft a compelling story with a positive outcome for them
- Align expectations
How to develop accountability:
- Learn to be unsatisfied with the status quo
- Leave your ego at the door
- Make a decision about the person you want to be
- Ask yourself: What would my idol do?
- Take yourself out of the equation
Practice team accountability
- Own up to your mistakes
- How to handle extreme accountability:
- Remind yourself that everything is your fault
- Avoid blame-shifting
- Go through the process of introspection
- Come up with solutions or ways to improve
Own Your Career
How to create your career roadmap:
Step #1: Define your destination—your career goal or dream job
- Visualize and write out your perfect day
- Create a mind map of your current job
- Figure out what you want to do more of
- Identify your potential next role (use LinkedIn profiles and job descriptions)
Step #2: Outline the path—the career stepping stones that could lead you to your destination
- Search for professionals with your dream job
- Outline their path
- Identify common patterns
- Map out a few routes to your dream job destination
Step #3: The fuel in your tank—the skills you’ll need to acquire, the knowledge you’ll need to gain, and the experience you’ll need to have to make it to the next level
- Find professionals who are doing the work you want to do
- Talk to them
- Review job descriptions for your dream role
- Identify gaps between who you are today and who you need to be
- Map out the skills you will need to acquire
Step #4: The accelerator (putting the pedal to the metal)—the actions you’ll need to take, the opportunities you’ll need to create and seize, and the tasks you’ll need to perform to move forward.
- Turn every skill gap into a goal
- Brainstorm ideas on how to accomplish each goal
- Come up with actionable, bite-sized tasks that will help you achieve your goal
- Schedule time on your calendar to work on your tasks every week
- Track your progress
- Celebrate wins
- Execute, to produce the results you desire, and don’t stop climbing!
Review Your Progress
Build a document to track your achievements:
Column 1: Your list of responsibilities
Column 2: Goals and KPIs for each responsibility area
Column 3: Achievements (tracking)
Column 4: References
Put a reminder on your calendar to update your tracking document every other week.