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Three Behaviors That Will Convince Your Boss You’re a Rock Star post image

Yesterday “Doug,” a participant in one of our Winning Well workshops, asked, “Karin, if I were to walk into your office right now with the goal of convincing you I’m a rock star, what behaviors would get your attention?”

I’m always intrigued by what comes out of the other end of my microphone during spontaneous Q & A— the raw advice bubbling straight from my heart without the benefit of the backspace key.

So, here’s my answer to Doug, and for you if you’re looking to make a bigger impact.

How to Convince Your Boss You’re a Rock Star

 Of course, the table stakes are integrity—a reputation of doing what you say. I’m going to assume you’re there. On top of that my big three are…

  1. Are You Gung-Ho?
    Of course, I’d never tell an interview candidate “You’re just not gung ho,” but I can spot an all-in, positive spirit within the first few minutes of an interaction with another human being. “Gung ho” can take many forms: the quiet introvert who comes prepared with a spreadsheet of our biggest organizational challenges and his thoughts for fixing them; the passionate extrovert sharing stories of customer turn-around efforts she’s led; or the eager employee bringing new ideas for a special project.“Gung ho” means you’re as excited about this work as I am—and you’re ready to give this job everything you’ve got to be successful.
  2. Do You Offer Solutions?
    Let me be clear, “gung ho” is necessary but not sufficient to hit the Karin Hurt rock-star radar. There’s always a long line of people “gung ho” with ideas of what I could do to make things better. I want to know what you’re eager to do and how you’re planning to do it. True rock stars bring solutions—not just problems. They view constraints as creative challenges, not road blocks. They’re willing to try new approaches and are resilient and determined to overcome setbacks.
  3. Do You Have the Respect of Your Peers?
    Even if you’re gung-ho and full of creative solutions—if you’re driving your peers batty, something is amiss. And no—it’s not because you’re that much better than everybody else (and if you even hint that you believe that—I’m not buying your “I’m a rock star” sales pitch.) It’s impossible to Win Well in the long run without trust, collaboration, and sharing of best practices. I’d take a team of B+ performers who know how to truly collaborate over a few smart lone rangers every time.

If you’re looking to convince your boss you’re a rock star, show up with confidence in your skills and the willingness to go the extra mile to make an impact, along with the humility to know what’s broken and how you can help. Be committed to achieving breakthrough results through collaborative relationships.

That’s Winning Well.

Your turn. What behaviors do you look for to spot a “rock star?”
Filed Under:   Career & Learning, winning well
 
 
Karin Hurt
Karin Hurt
Karin Hurt, is CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders and a former Verizon Wireless executive. Karin was named on Inc.’s list of 100 Great Leadership Speakers for Your Next Conference, the American Management Association List of 50 Leaders to Watch, and as a Trust Across America Top Thought Leader in Trust. She’s the award-winning author of two books, Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results— Without Losing Your Soul, and Overcoming an Imperfect Boss. She’s regularly featured in business publications including Fast Company, Entrepreneur, and Inc.
 

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What People Are Saying

Skip Prichard   |   03 July 2017   |   Reply

Love this post, Karin. I did laugh because you have 1, then 1, then 2. I thought maybe there’s a deeper meaning there. Rock stars consistently outwork, outperform, and outcompete others. They give just that little bit more, a little edge that keeps them in the top of the pack.

Karin Hurt   |   06 July 2017   |   Reply

Thanks so much, Skip! (and thanks for the heads up on the numbering– oddly it was working on the back end ;-) fixed now. I’m a firm believer in hard work and the impact it will have.

Wally Bock   |   04 July 2017   |   Reply

Great post, Karin. I especially liked your use of “gung-ho,” which originally was derived from a Chinese phrase meaning “working together.” In that sense, “gung-ho” means that you’re “as excited about this work as I am” but that you’re also lending your efforts to make the team successful.

Karin Hurt   |   06 July 2017   |   Reply

Wally, Thank you for all your “gung ho” leadership work! AND for the origin story of gung ho. Love it.

Jonathan G   |   05 July 2017   |   Reply

Loved this post. Especially how you call out the solutions piece and respect if your peers. I have connected with many fired up personalities whom can call out any number of things that are wrong. But those that can stay fired up during the “grind”, when you many not have wins to keep the fuel burning, those are the ones that really stand out. Great post!!

JG

Karin Hurt   |   06 July 2017   |   Reply

JG, Thank you. And you, sir, are the poster child of gung ho. Namaste.

Jonathan G   |   15 July 2017   |  

That is HIGh praise from you, the other poster child for Gung Ho!