Although your management capabilities, professional and technical expertise are clearly major factors underpinning your role effectiveness and future progression; in themselves they may not be enough. Career success and failure is not simply an outcome of talent. Critical to success and failure is the deployment of your personal time and effort in responding to the realities of human nature and organisational life.

So what are those factors that will distinguish between those who succeed and fail in an organization? We thought of outlining some areas that will need your attention and effort to be managed well and astutely.

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Confidence inspires greater confidence.
Others take you at face value. If you display self belief, you must be credible. If you fail to project confidence - no mater your underlying talents and skills - others will question your effectiveness and contribution

Gravitating towards success.
The power of association is significant. Connecting and working with people who are great and successful at what they do is critical. It is infectious. Needless to say that if you hang around with people who are known to be no good and do very little work is going to be attributed to you as well. Creating a strong personal brand is key if you want to succeed in the corporate world.

Balancing stakeholder groups
You operate within a complex network of interpersonal relationships and need to manage the expectations of different groups. Failure to manage these different expectations will constrain your effectiveness and lessen your impact.

Building broad based commitment
Advancing your agenda will be easier if you are in tune with the informal communication flow of the organisation and connected to different networks. Positive relationships, across different levels and functions, also provides the opportunity to gain the loyalty of those whose career paths you may encounter in the future may lend you a helping hand.

Focus on priorities
Not everything can be achieved at once. The 80/20 law applies; 80% of your outcomes will be attained by 20% of your efforts. Being ruthless in directing your time and energy towards a few key issues will have much more impact than attempting to take on the full range of potential challenges within your role. Sustainable development requires time and effort.

Controlled delegation
Knowing what issues require your personal attention and which should be passed on to others is a critical activity in maximising your value to the organisation. Effective delegation not only frees up your time for the key decisions, it enables your colleagues to develop greater skills to take on additional responsibility and improve productivity.

Managing corporate politics
The realities of organisational life are based on dynamics of power and the battle for corporate resources. Within this perspective, talent, effectiveness and contribution can be less significant on career advancement than ones’s positioning within the political network. Whether you like it or not, corporate politics is a skill that must be mastered.

Managing time
There are times when you should ‘push forward’ and advance your ideas and plans. There are also times to hold back and await developments before committing yourself to a course of action. Knowing when to move quickly and when to delay is critical in managing the ‘art of the possible’ within the realities of organisational life.

Playing to strengths
Your fundamental talents will allow you to acquire new skills, demonstrate specific competencies and with experience, excel and make a substantial organisational impact. Many companies spend a huge amount of time trying to fix the “weak areas” of their managers and then realize little has changed. We should focus on maximizing our strengths because that is what will you achieve excellence.

Managing ego emotions
Organisational life has its ups and downs, its trials and tribulations. When emotions run high, a cool head which keeps a sense of proportion and displays ‘grace under pressure’ is a valued asset. Rising above petty rivalries or dealing with crises in a mature manner reassures others that you can be trusted to rise to a challenge and take on greater responsibility.

Flexible curiosity and learning agility
An alertness to emerging trends and developments will keep you aware of your ‘employability’ and ‘marketability’. It will also create a broader and more varied set of life experiences to draw upon and establishing yourself as a credible player. Make mistakes and use them to learn fast from them to strengthen your competencies and drive your development.

From time to time review your personal and professional goals to ensure they are aligned and compatible. People who are passionate about what they do tend to have a fulfilling and rich life.

Author: Caroline Buhagiar, Salaries in Malta

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