Today’s guest post is by Lynda Gratton, a professor at London Business School and author of “Hot Spots” and “Glow.”
Most of us think we need to work longer and harder than our colleagues to prove our worth to our employer. That just isn’t the case any more: Thanks to technology, cheap outsourced labor, and increasing numbers of new graduates, there is always someone who will do our job faster, quicker, and cheaper.
To be invaluable, you have to work with more energy, more enthusiasm, and most important of all, more innovation. You need to glow.
People who glow have mastered three distinct areas of their life:
- A co-operative mindset. They have built deeply trusting and cooperative relationships with others. Turn to colleagues you trust — and who trust you — and ask them for advice and insight into your tasks. Online networking tools are a good conduit. Consult people outside your normal networks and with totally different mindsets.
- Jumping across worlds. They have extended their networks beyond the obvious to encompass the unusual. When you extend your network, you will come across people whose experiences and views differ significantly from your own. The further you “jump across worlds” to communicate with people from vastly different profiles, the fresher your perceptions will be.
- Igniting latent energy. They are on an inner quest that ignites their own energy and that of others. Ask questions that spark energy, to engross and interest others as well as your own curiosity. Create visions that compel. These are visions of the future that you and your colleagues can buy into, that encourage others to imagine the future and to become excited about being involved in that future. Craft meaningful and exciting work.
The ability to glow has never been more important than it is today. A strong network will become essential, since you will lean on them more and will not have the benefit of face-to-face interaction. Cost-cutting measures are likely to lead to the emergence of flexible virtual teams, which cannot possible function efficiently if they do not consist of individuals that “glow.”
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