How to be a workplace super hero

Published: August 7, 2010
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Finding solutions and working beyond the call of duty should make you a linchpin in a company

Average people who work average jobs are easy to replace. They come in at 9, do the work that’s expected of them, and leave by 5. They cause no problems, they don’t raise questions, and they don’t threaten the status quo. They are good, dependable people.

Unfortunately, because of their generic nature, there are too many of them. Sure, you got the job done. But there are thousands of people just like you being churned out of business schools at an incredible pace. In today’s economy, playing it safe could be your worst career decision.

How to stand out and be a workplace ‘superhero’

The next time you go to work, be alert.

Throughout the day, look for hot spots. These are places with an overload of information, clutter, stress and increased sensitivity. You’re sure to feel the tension when you’re in a hot spot. Each spot is like an exposed nerve ending, and is characterized by a lot of burden. Although the burden might be in the sphere of work and productivity don’t be surprised if you can sense the emotional and physical burden at hot spots as well; these are symptoms of the same and a good sign that you’ve identified a hot spot.

Next, work on the hot spot. Don’t make excuses like ‘It’s not my job’. Make it your job. Be a problem solver, a troubleshooter, a map maker.

Take your time to observe and then get to it. Don’t worry about stepping on a few toes – as Richard Branson says “Screw it, let’s do it!”

Identify problem areas, the nodes where information is too tangled and crucial points where a lot hangs in balance. Think about solutions. Your outsider status might free you from a closed mind space that is stopping the people whose job it is from solving these issues. Use your perspective.

Then, fix it.

umair.kazi

Umair Kazi

A strategist who blogs at www.theideaartist.com

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.