The next time you see this man, you kiss him on the mouth.
Because he’s given us some killer career advice for all workers in all professions in all industries. Follow this advice and you will not want for work. The work will find you.
In “The importance of being a person,” consultant Bob Lewis outlines how you can make yourself indispensable in your job and in your field. He calls it “being a person,” which sounds a lot softer than his advice really is.
The short version (the full piece starts off a little slow, making its big point in the second half):
In just about every business, there’s a club. To become a member, you have to be a person, and not just an interchangeable, faceless, member-of-the-great-unwashed, one-of-the-troops sack o’ skills.
Companies treat members of the club differently than non-members. They pay members more. They give members more interesting assignments. Members receive the promotions, and their names aren’t on the Reduction In Force rosters.
If you value your career, believe me: You want to be a person.
The examples Lewis uses after this are IT- and software-related, but the point is the same. Either you’re someone business managers instruct, like a robot, to do a set grouping of tasks, or you’re an active part of solving team and company problems, taking ownership of the issues that keep your manager up at night or are holding back better corporate performance.
A person is someone that’s fully engaged, fully participating. Those people are hard to find and sometimes hard to keep around. But cogs in the machine? They’re a dime a dozen; easily replaced.
Find the ways to become a “person” in your company. And if you can’t do that where you are, find another company where you can participate fully.