Early in my career I learned of the importance of showing value. I survived numerous acquisitions due to my willingness to take on more responsibility and build a skill set that was scarce. Whenever I saw an opportunity I took it. If there was an app or a tool that was useful for my team, I read up on it, watch video tutorials and took available training. I’ve written wiki articles and if no one saw value in my contribution, I wrote the article anyway and saved it on my own cloud drive. I didn’t seek credit or reward for my contribution, at least not at first. It just needed to be done and I knew in time someone would inquire about a process that I would have some insight to. Initially my motives for taking this action were not out of ambition or giving 100%. In truth, they were out of self preservation. But through difficult times often comes opportunity, which eventually allowed me to bring my skill set and business philosophy into a leadership role.
My initial thinking of what makes a good manager was to look back on all the managers that I didn’t like or things that were done or said that I would say or do differently. The things that I didn’t like or find helpful, I wouldn’t do. Seemed pretty simple at first, but I had primarily managed processes at the time. Processes can be challenging, but processes don’t have a bad day or bring their home problems to work. Processes don’t require one on ones or empathy. Processes won’t challenge you or require you to come out of your comfort zone. People will! They will not all share your business philosophy, no matter how obviously correct you believe yourself to be. It was my responsibility to serve my team, to ensure that I clearly articulate the corporate vision and that they understand our direction. Their failure was my failure and their success was due to their own contributions, and I did what I could to see that they were recognized for it.
My philosophy to show or demonstrate value never changed. I brought it with me as I moved up. But not everyone understood or supported this creed. A team member once vented his frustration that our team was a dumping ground for things people don’t understand or don’t want to do. My response was "Yes, but we are still here. We may be the only ones here that are capable of handling this task. We are developing an understanding that is scarce and holds value and people are taking notice."
I began to understand the mindset of my team, and in time I understood the mindset of the leaders I reported to. I would take notes on every question that was asked of me and try to anticipate these types of questions when creating reports and demonstrations. Value is to a degree subjective, and there are certainly people that work very hard that have experienced layoffs or have not gotten the recognition they deserve. I find that extending oneself out of the comfort zone, building a skill set and doing what one must to stand out from the pack will prove to beneficial more often than not.
Chris Truitt is an Email Deliverability Manager with over 11 years of experience. During this time, Chris has consulted with many clients, large and small on best practices and provided strategic guidance on improving inbox placement. His objective is to help businesses on realizing their full marketing potential by first understanding the customer’s needs and interests and structuring alignment of the marketing campaign to meet those needs. As a pragmatist, Chris has an analytical, result oriented approach to business. He believes a dive into data and historical performance can lead us to making well informed decisions. In his new role he has had an opportunity to offer insight to executive leaders and contributed to key decisions and business strategy. Chris resides in Raleigh North Carolina where he lives with his wife and their two sons.
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Connect: LinkedIn | Twitter