Become visible and known by your name and your values. You do this through networking, attending conferences, webinars and seminars, writing for professional journals, blogs and newsletters, joining committees and task forces, being active in professional/ industry associations, attending company/industry social functions. Promote yourself. Find the appropriate Facebook and LinkedIn groups and be active in them. Write articles and get your photo published in industry magazines.
Develop a questioning mind
A questioning mind is alert to change, is constantly in search of facts, relates facts to situations and projects them into a myriad of future possibilities. A questioning mind views interruptions and reversals as challenges, opportunities, and seeks relationships between facts, situations and people.
Keep developing your skills
Sharpening your strengths and skills through continuing education is an essential task for anyone who wants to stay relevant. Additionally, exposure to others in your field at seminars and meet-ups is a stimulating exercise. There is huge value in networking.
Build your own self-development library
Exposure to the literature of self-improvement is vital to anyone who wants to advance. And it’s a field where the lessons of others can be read about, watched and listened to. Build your own library — and use it: books, mp3s, videos. Subscribe to the top publications in your field
Join at least one relevant trade association
Professional groups provide the opportunity to ‘stay in the zone’. You get to discuss similar problems and the latest solutions to current problems with others in your field; you’ll get ideas about how to break the daily routine. And you won’t fall behind new trends; staying up to date is a constant challenge especially if you work solo.
Lead from the front
If you’re in a team or company structure, support the efforts of those around you. By helping their progress, you show loyalty, and you demonstrate your own value. Aim to build a strong team to complement your skills and undertake team tasks crucial to your organisation’s success. Publicise the results.
Dedicate yourself to the organisation you’re in
Show your interest and dedication to the cause you’re fighting. Volunteer to take on new assignments. Tackle existing tasks in different ways. Talk ‘shop’ with your colleagues.
Build a reputation as a forward-looking player
Broad-mindedness, appreciation of innovation, creativity — all these have a place in the résumé of a modern manager. Experiment in applying new approaches to old problems and routine tasks. Don’t expect every experiment to be a winner. Allow yourself and your colleagues some scope for failures.
If relevant, stay aware of company culture and ethos
If others wear white shirts and ties, don’t wear a sweatshirt; if others work a ten hour day, don’t leave at 4.30; if others work as a team, don’t hog the spotlight. If you want to be non-conformist, do it by achieving more.
See yourself as a winner
Be realistic about your strengths, weaknesses and ambitions. If you need new skills, get them. If you want to be a winner, put in extra effort!