Many think that if you do your work and do it well, you’ll be successful and will advance in accordance to your success. That may be true in some cases and yet the reality is as you start to rise in your career, the baseline expectation is for you to do your work, and what you are really being paid for is your ideas and your leadership of people. If you are good at those, you will advance, your star will keep rising, and you can go from being a superstar to being a megastar. If, however, if you are challenged with providing new and fresh ideas combined with leading people, your career could become stunted.
These are some of the key characteristics and actions that help you move from what I call from a superstar to a megastar:
Be genuine. People are attracted to, and trust, those who are genuine. Those who say what they are thinking with grace and tact and ease, who are transparent, and uniquely themselves.
Have a business mindset. Grow your business acumen and business lens. As you grow your craft, it’s equally important to learn how businesses works and the integral parts that make up a successful business. As an example, several of my Human Resource clients are sought after by the C-Suite because they know how business works. They understand how all lines of business intersect, the overall mechanics of growing those areas, plus they appreciate the industry they are in and how it impacts the business. They are also exceptional at their craft as HR leaders. Having a business mindset allows you to be incredibly nimble, agile and versatile.
Grow in knowledge, consistently and persistently. Having what Carole Dweck calls a “growth mindset” is certainly a superstar quality. It’s the ability to look at where you can take responsibility, where can you learn and grow despite circumstance. Demonstrate your capacity to learn, develop, and grow. Teach yourself a new skill. Learn more about your company—be insatiably curious, and then make knowledgeable suggestions based on the insights you’ve gained. This makes you an influencer and increases your visibility. Be curious about other people, learn about them and what matters to them.
Be your word. This is a big part of building trust and respect. When you say what you will do, you do it, period. If you can’t for some reason act on what you said you would, then you communicate, you renegotiate. You honor your own language. Your language creates an inherent commitment level. When you don’t honor your own language, people can’t trust that you mean what you say. Your “word” then has no meaning. By paying more attention to what you commit to, what you say you will do, you create more trust and respect.
Have an elevated sense of urgency. Be responsive, not reactive. Don’t run on emergencies. Reactivity occurs when you have too much to do and your priorities are unclear. You get overwhelmed. Making decisions from a reactive state may be fine in a few instances; however, it’s unsustainable, and can cause you to make poor choices. The way you stand your ground when things go wrong is almost as vital as how you stand your ground when things go right. People see that you are unshakable and that you can be compassionate and empathetic and still have strength in leadership and stay on course; then they feel that they can trust you more. Whereas if you’re busy reacting to whatever is happening that day, you’re not being thoughtful, and you’re unpredictable, and trust gets lost.
Focus on your uniqueness and align with your passions. Consider what separates you from the crowd. What are the characteristics and strengths that have led to you achieving results? What gets you excited? These are key points for you to focus on when growing your visibility because it’s what makes you unique.
Promote diversity of thought, background, and attributes. Celebrate new ways of thinking, appreciate the differences of people’s backgrounds and leverage their ideas, thoughts and perspectives. Debate can bring out ideas uncharted. Diversity can be an overused word today because there is a lot of talk about diversity and not a lot of action. People will know you value diversity when you act on it.
Develop Emotional Intelligence. People who talk louder do not necessarily have the best and brightest ideas. Introverts and those who have a quieter approach are sometimes the wisest leaders in the room. Learn to read the room and act and respond appropriately.
Reward unique perspectives. The people that give you off the wall ideas may be on to something.
Make a difference. Be the person who consistently gives back. Helping others a positive way to engender and foster a mentoring and coaching environment.
Going from a superstar to a megastar is more about the actions you take, the people you impact and the environment of trust, respect and safety you foster around you.
Esther Weinberg is the Chief Leadership Development Officer and Founder of The Ready Zone. To dive deeper into the ideas and strategies offered in this article, complete our Needs Assessment and we’ll schedule time to connect. In the meantime, download our FREE eBook – “Better Leaders. Better People. Better Results. Six Eye-Opening Strategies to Thrive Through Change You Did Not Ask For”