How to become valued within an organisation – Emma Little, Founder and CEO of ExecSpace

2 min read

I wasn’t sure whether to write this from a leader point of view (as the owner of ExecSpace) or from an employee point of view (from my 12 years working for other people – from the local newsagent to a global corporate). But then I realised, actually they’re very much linked, as the expectations I set of myself as an employee are very much in line with those I now set of others.

So, here are 11 (random) quick pointers that a) have helped me in my earlier career and b) turn one of the ExecSpace team from ‘one of the team’, into one of my ‘good guys, who, quite frankly, I would do anything for’.

1. First and foremost, trust. Always be 100% honest with your boss – even if you’ve MASSIVELY SCREWED UP. As long as your intent was right and you were trying your best, any decent boss will support you 100%.

2. Don’t take shortcuts. Doing the right thing over the easy thing will always have a better outcome and won’t bite you on the bum later.

3. Attitude and values are key. Experience/skills/industry can be taught. A good organisation/boss will always put more emphasis on attitude and values.

4. Really ‘own’ stuff. Don’t moan about stuff, if it’s not working – take the initiative and fix it. Any good boss will be happy to give you the autonomy if you’ve the passion and desire to get stuff done.

5. Be a ‘good egg’ to those around you – help your colleagues, be kind and contribute to the office environment/feeling. Good organisations/bosses don’t value nonsense like internal politics.

6. Genuinely care about your organisation and its vision. You have to spend approx. 40 hours a week there so it’ll inevitably be more enjoyable if you’re ‘bought in’.

7. Be willing to put the extra work/hours in, on occasion. A good organisation/boss will reward this. Equally, have a personal life and switch-off. A good organisation/boss will love seeing you thriving personally as well as in work.

8. Have a plan and be structured. You can either be chaotic and let your day run you, or structured and one step ahead of your clients and boss. Organisations love the latter.

9. Put your heart on your sleeve. If there’s something bothering you or festering, speak to your boss before it becomes an issue. It’s just another relationship in the end and good communication is at the heart of any successful relationship.

10. Don’t ask for more money for the sake of more money. Share your aspirations with your boss/organisation and you’ll be able to work together to ensure your personal goals/aspirations are met and the business benefits from your additional input.

11. Think about what your internal client or boss wants before they ask for it. If you’re one step ahead/pre-empting stuff you’ll feel comfortable and on top of things and very soon, you’ll be invaluable.

Clearly there’s always temptations to not do some of the above, but if you can do most of the above, most of the time, you should have a great relationship with your boss and colleagues and be valued by your organisation. As someone that’s been on both sides and as someone who’s realised that there’s not that many GREAT people out there, if you’re one of them – trust me, you will be valued and you will have a lot more leverage than you think. Go for it!

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