AALL Spectrum

AALL Spectrum | January/February 2016 | Volume 20, Number 3

AALL Spectrum / Published by American Association of Law Libraries

Issue link: https://epubs.aallnet.org/i/628170

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JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016 | AALL SPECTRUM 33 HOW TO BUILD YOUR POWER AND SIGNIFICANCE WITHOUT MOVING UP THE LADDER T he ladder of success grows narrow at the top. Some people never make it to the top tier. Some don't want these positions. ey feel more in control of their time and projects in the middle. is doesn't mean you should stag- nate and become invisible. Whether you want a promotion or not, you can continue to get desirable assignments, receive recognition, and earn generous raises. To do this, you need to regularly let your leaders know that you are committed to giving your best. You need to develop your eye for projects that will have a significant impact and give you visibility in the organization. You need to keep shiing your role so you feel energized and fulfilled. e goal is to become indispensable so you can maintain political power without moving up the ladder. Develop a Strategic Perspective If you're like most people, you view your work from a tactical perspec- tive, meaning you focus on how to do your own work better or on how other people can be more productive. You ask, "What needs to get done?" Although you are proactive about improvements, you tend to be fixated on what action is needed now rather than foreseeing what hot issues are emerging in your organization or in the field you specialize in. e skill you need to develop is evaluating your work from a strate- gic perspective. is means stepping back and researching what trends are emerging and what issues will need to be addressed six to 12 months from now, based on what changes are going on in your organization, marketplace, or the world. In their book Womenomics: Write Your Own Rules for Success, Claire Shipman and Katty Kay describe this focus as finding the high-profile, high-reward projects that are just starting to grab everyone's attention. "If you are ahead of the curve on buzz, it also gives you a chance to leap on those areas early on and claim them as yours," say Shipman and Kay. "It makes you and your team look good, which helps everyone." A strategic focus helps you stand out. You can broaden your perspective to include strategic as well as tactical thinking by trying to uncover the new ideas people are talking about in your field. You can monitor and act on the trends that are forming by: ¡ ¡ Listening to what the leaders in your organization and field are talking about; ¡ ¡ Reading the industry newsletters; ¡ ¡ Tapping into bloggers who write about your industry; ¡ ¡ Joining discussion groups on social media platforms; ¡ ¡ Doing internet searches on topics that keep coming up; and ¡ ¡ Holding brainstorming meetings to discover what colleagues are seeing as trends and possibilities for the future. Also, look for patterns in your environ- ment that indicate changes are coming. Look at how many computer and mobile phone companies in the past 20 years are either long gone or limp- ing along because they couldn't stay on top of the trends. Service industries must meet the changing demands of the mobile, instant-information needs of the consumers. Civil rights issues are changing the nature of relationships and the accepted societal norms. What patterns do you see in the projects you are working on? What priorities are emerging? e picture is no longer the same as in the past. What is shiing? What surprises have cropped up? Also, look for anomalies, con- tradictions, and oddities in your YOU ARE BY MARCIA REYNOLDS Images © iStock.com/fuzzbones0/alphaspirit/AAGGraphics.

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