• Sam Decker

Career Tip #5: Take Initiative Outside Your Triangle

If there’s one piece of advice I’d give anyone in any job who wants to be considered a ‘rockstar’ it is to take initiative. Be entrepreneurial. See opportunities to improve before you’re told to improve them. Look for new opportunities. Think outside your responsibilities. Mistakes are easily forgiven when you have an employee that is going to be ‘making plays’.

Think about the expectations of your role and responsibilities as a triangle.

Now, if you put a circle inside the triangle, representing what you accomplish, then there are some unfilled spots, and your performance is below expectations:

If you fill the triangle you are meeting expectations, and are a “good” employee:

But if you take that circle of accomplishments outside the triangle, outside what’s expected, outside your responsibilities, you are exceeding expectations. You become a rockstar, potentially an A player, and someone who will be considered to take on more responsibility:

So what should you take on? Think about it this way: “do your boss’s job”.

Consider taking initiatives in areas your boss has focus. Make sure these initiatives that will clearly make an impact, are measurable, are visible and helpful to others as well (they should if your boss is focused on the right things). In other words, if you go outside the boundaries of your responsibilities, choose to work on things that matter most to your company: your boss, your customers, and impact to the P&L.