Get promoted with this one simple thing you can do every day
Listen closely – I’m going to tell you one very simple thing you can do every day that will get you promoted (or, for the self-employed, get you more clients and more money). Here it is:
DO WHAT YOU SAY YOU WILL DO, WHEN YOU SAY YOU WILL DO IT.
If you feel that I’m stating the bleeding obvious and you always do this anyway, please stop reading. This article is not for you.
However, if you are one of the many, many others that think it’s perfectly fine to let an agreed deadline whistle past without even acknowledging it… this article is for you. Your behaviour truly bewilders me. Because why would anyone want to be known for not keeping their word?
A few years ago I landed my dream job working for a senior and inspirational leader within a big bank. I hadn’t worked for anyone that senior before. I was nervous. I wasn’t sure I really had the smarts. But I was damn well going to do everything in my power to make her faith in me pay off. That’s when I made a personal commitment to always deliver her work at the time I said I’d deliver it, and to a high quality.
Which is not to say that I didn’t do that before – but this time I consciously decided that I would be the girl who always delivers. Of course, I wasn’t perfect and I made mistakes in that role (some of them big ones). But I did always deliver what I said I would, come hell or high water.
If you’re self employed, being the person who always delivers will set you apart from all the flaky providers out there and you’ll never lack for work. In fact, being reliable and prompt is much more important than being good at what you do. You might be a genius, but nobody’s going to work with you more than once if you can’t deliver on time.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand that people are busy, workloads are crazy and priorities change. But if the delivery date is looming and you know you’re not going to deliver, you should be proactive… let the person know that they can’t expect the task to be completed when you agreed, but you will have it completed by X. Provide status updates without being asked so your boss doesn’t wonder whatever happened to that thing you were working on. If priorities change, proactively flag what will have to be dropped if you are to deliver on the new priority.
Using this approach, even if you actually don’t deliver that thing on time (because you were working on the other, more urgent thing) you’re not the person who doesn’t keep their word. Now, you’re the person who proactively manages expectations. Which is a much better place to be.
A smart woman once suggested I give some thought to how I made my boss feel. If you want to get anywhere, the answer to that better not be ‘doubtful whether you’ll deliver’. You want your boss to feel that you are capable and reliable. I would take this further – everyone you deal with at work should know that you are someone can be relied on to deliver. It’s called integrity. And it will get you promoted.