Every function has its role in business. Every function also has its “knocks or biases.” Stereo-types if you will.
Have you heard of any of these sentiments?
Accountants are bean counters, but they really don’t have a clue about customers, internal or external.
Sales people are great with people, sure! But they don’t get the bottom line and only think about the customer.
Marketing people are dreamers, but they can’t analyze themselves out of a paper bag!
IT thinks they are the gestapo! Do they realize they are a support function, not a deli counter giving out a ticket?
Operations– No, they really won’t just “buy what we make,” there needs to be some kind of customization!
Senior management is so out of touch! They really don’t know how the real work is done!
HR – Hiring. Firing. Party’s over! HR is coming to the meeting? Yikes!
Want a recipe for career success?
Find a way to shatter your functional stereo-type.
YES, be great at what you do. That’s a given.
But if you want more than just being an “accountant,” break the mold in what it means to be a great.
- Do you know how to close the books as an accountant? I sure hope so. Can you pay your vendors and collect your invoices? That’s like breathing.
You in sales?
- Can you line up a big meeting to present your annual offering? Of course, that’s why your in sales. Can you form relationships with various types of personalities? Like breathing.
You in IT?
Can you build a program to automate routine tasks? Set up networks, hardware, software? Well I hope so, it’s like breathing.
To be a “basic valued” employee, you better know how to breathe in your function. Some people breathe easier than others, sure. There are people that run marathons faster (and finish) better than others. They flat out work harder at their craft than others. Hustle is a choice.
But it takes more than hard work to transcend the middle of the functional bell curve.
I would argue that any person that aspires to rise the ranks and become one of the best at what you do…….need to flat out work their ass off to “breathe” better than those around you. But you’ll need an edge…..
Standing out and rising to the top of any one function (or beyond) requires not just breathing. You’ll need to stand out from the rest. Not just by being the best, but by breaking the mold and shattering what it looks like to be the best at what you do. Shatter your functional stereo-type.
Take the perception by the collar, lift it up and throw it back in the career stereo type pile. Don’t be that guy/gal. Be the anti-stereo type.
Think Superman. He turned the tables, in his greatest moment ever.
And a CAUTIONARY NOTE: Before tackling any ambitious project, it helps to get a baseline for where you are at. In this context, have you mastered “Breathing?” What do your peers think? If not, start their.