There’s nothing particularly magical about being able to get things done. I believe that with the right motivation, methodology and experience, anyone can become a make it happen person. Here are some pointers.
Succeed where others have failed
It’s not unusual to find organisations that have been going around in circles on a project for years. Show you can break the cycle. Demonstrate that you can deliver even if you are not working with the “dream team” or have to make do with limited resources. Whilst it’s important to understand what went wrong before, don’t get bogged down in the detail.
Speed is of the essence
If you are not able to win people over and get their buy-in within a short period of time, you just won’t get the support required to deliver and the project is doomed. It’s important to understand the rhythm of the business. Recognise when you’ve got everything you need to start moving forward, then move fast. When you call a meeting, be clear on what you want to achieve and get the right people in the room. Make sure that valuable time is not wasted and ensure that there’s a concrete outcome with agreed actions and owners.
Learn how to leverage energy and momentum and share this spark and your passion so that others ignite around you. Your confidence will help to give others confidence so they feel empowered. Communicate – if those around you buy into your vision, they will follow and support you. A certain amount of impatience is a good thing as it can help to move things forward.
Read more about how to improve your communication skills:
- Communication techniques from the world of sport
- The importance of communication: Closing the gap between FD and CEO
- Why communication is key to success
Unlock hidden value
Unlock the potential of more junior and younger people in the business and bring them to the fore – they are a hidden asset with fresh ideas. Get them around the table and give them a voice. And don’t ignore often-forgotten supporting departments like finance or admin. Go and see them, talk to them and share your vision. A time may well come when their support will mean the difference between success and failure.
Be a path-cutter
Don’t be afraid to implement experimental initiatives. And if at first you don’t succeed, try again. Even if something doesn’t work, you will still learn from it. Was the problem the approach or the execution? It’s the execution that’s key – an ‘OK’ strategy well executed will always beat a brilliant strategy badly executed.
Remember that “make it happen” people are only human
They’re not infallible. Don’t be afraid to laugh and admit you’re wrong when things don’t go according to plan. Also, find someone you can share your dilemmas with. I have been lucky enough to work with people I have trusted and relied upon implicitly. They’re people who aren’t afraid to challenge you, people you can always turn to for advice and help.
Meanwhile, it’s a rare person who doesn’t find others a little weird sometimes, and it’d be a terribly tedious world if we were all the same. But while our uniqueness can sometimes separate us from others, it’s possible to take the mystery out of other people’s behaviour with the right attitude of curious enquiry and a genuine willingness to understand.
Chris Wood is a marketing, strategy and corporate development specialist and an associate of interim and management solutions provider, WBMS. He has worked with companies including Lastminute.com, Amazon, Microsoft, Virgin Media and O2.
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