Are you making an impact? At your job? In your career? In your life? No matter how hard you work, no matter how much dedication and work ethic you have, if you don’t develop a strategy to be impactful, it will all be for nothing.
Being impactful means making a difference. It means being able to move forward, to progress in your career and whatever project you are working on.
Say you have a sales position, for example. If you just try to keep your customers happy, and if you, just once in a while, pick up a new customer, if you just barely make your numbers – if you make them at all – you are not being impactful.
If you are a business leader who is happy with the status quo, who in fact strives to leave everything alone, who is comfortable in his comfort zone, you are not being impactful and actually you are going backwards, you are losing ground. That’s right, standing still in business is actually losing.
If you are an engineering manager, you can never be happy with your product. You have to be continually striving to make that product better. You have to always be looking for an impactful way to improve the product.
The same goes for those of you who are in quality and customer service and HR no matter what your position in the company is, you have to look for ways to be better, to provide better service and to make an impact on your company and better yet, your industry.
The people who stand out in any organization are always those who understand that to stand out they have to make an impact. They have to do something that is going to change things for the better.
The best way to be impactful is to study your product, your services, your responsibilities and find a better way to make a positive difference.
And you have to set goals to accomplish that better way to make an impact.
When you think about your position in your career and in your life, evaluate where you are, review what you have been doing. Then once you have established that base position, think hard about what it would take to make a significant improvement to the way things stand today. How do you break out of the status quo and move that proverbial ball closer to the goal line?
What will that change look like? Is it enough of a change to be in fact impactful? Will it really make a difference, a vital and significant difference?
Let’s assume you are in sales for example. For the past few years, you have been doing okay. You have been holding your own. Nothing dramatic has occurred but you have been a true “Steady Eddie.” You might even feel good. Your boss might even be encouraging saying things like, “I can always count on you Steady Eddie, you’re always good for that two million dollars a year!”
Now that might sound pretty good, but it is really just a velvet cage of mediocrity. It makes you feel safe in your comfort zone. So warm and safe that you never want to leave, you never want to extend yourself. You never want to stretch and take it to the next level and beyond.
But what if one day you look in the mirror and say to yourself, “I’m tired of being Steady Eddie. I’m tired of making the same amount of money year after year. I want to do something great. I want to double my sales next year. I want to sell four million dollars’ worth of goods next year!”
Okay now, that’s a goal! That is a very admirable goal indeed. That’s impactful! Now your next step is how are you going to accomplish that goal. How are you going to double your sales next year?
The next thing you need is a plan. Just saying that you want to double your sales will not cut it. You are going to have to come up with a good and logical plan to do that. You have to get to work. Remember hope is not a strategy.
Here are some examples of good solid directional steps you can take to achieve your goal of doubling your sales next year:
- Find out what is the average yearly expected sales of your customers.
- Review those current customers and decided how much more of their business you can capture
- Then come up with a plan for how you are going to increase your business with those accounts.
- From that figure out how many additional customers it will take to make up the difference
- Decide how many new customers you have to get and then devise a plan to win over prospects and acquire those new customers.
Now you have a plan…you have made a tactical road map to accomplishing your goal, and yes you are on your way to making an impact in your company and most importantly, in your life. It’s only common sense.