ORG CHART 101:What Who HR Reports To Really Means in Your Organization...
CAPITALIST MAILBAG: What's the Most HRish Thing to Come Out of Boston?

BE A PLAYER: What the C-Level Wants When They Tap You On The Shoulder For Help...

Today's joint is a self-help post for the kids out there who can't keep their cool when someone with power taps them on the shoulder for help, or for an opportunity that's going to be good for their career.

First, here's what you need to know about that person who tapped you on the shoulder for help:

--They're a player and they have power in whatever pond you live in (which is all extremely High maintenance relative, btw)

--They need help.

--They thought of you, and that can't be a bad thing.

--They don't have a strategic plan behind the request.  They just need help. They don't know where it might lead.

Got it?  Good.  Them tapping you on the shoulder for help is a good thing.  

But that's not enough for you. You have to know what it means. You're like an actor who just got a big break showing up to the set and asking an award-winning director, "What's my motivation?"

Your motivation?

Your motivation should be to engage and make the power broker love the way you ball.  But you've read too many career journals and start to ask momentum-killing questions like:

--Is there a new title with that?  If I do well, would a new position or title come in play down the road?

--Is there more money with that?  What about if I do well - could more money happen then?

It doesn't matter that you didn't ask them directly - it will get back to them. They should call you #selfassassin - the questions you feel compelled to ask are that destructive to your career.

Players perform and pledge not to ask questions when powerful people ask them for help.  I've never seen a situation where a powerful person asked for help and a true player performs - where it wasn't good for their career in a multitude of ways.

Don't ask what the reward is when someone way up the food chain asks you for help.

Just perform in a way that will make them ask again.

Do that and the rest takes care of itself.



Amen. You have to prove that you can deliver before you get caught up in the "what's in it for me game". Taking that approach too early indicates that you will only do something if their is money involved and, to progress in an organization, you have to demonstrate that your motivation is to do the "right" thing. The reward, in some way, should follow if you consistently deliver. If you don't then it's time for another conversation...and another post by KD! this too soon, grasshopper, and you will have problems.


Kris, I've found that leaders don't go to just anyone. They go to people with reputation, and you don't get reputation by doing OK work. You get reputation by being the guy/gal that gets $hit done and done right. People want to work with you, leaders see that, and they come to get some of that.

To really seal the deal, take a chance. Give them something they didn't ask for, but you know they'll want. Answer the question that ask you to answer, then answer the next one they didn't think to ask. Hint: you REALLY have to care and understand what they want to be able to do this. A lot of fluffy slides with animations isn't "wow", real information, solutions, and getting $hit done right is what they are looking for. If you can't do that, you better start shaking.

The comments to this entry are closed.