Do you by any means realise that your organisation is a community? Where you work is an established institution, a community, a society of people with common interest sharing a common vision, purpose and ambition.
It’s a composition of people serving a purpose and an interest with collective expectations on returns and benefits.
Indeed your organisation is a world on its own with a vision, mission, rules, regulations, ethics and norms governing behaviours, attitudes and processes.
Every organisation is different, though they may be serving in the same industry, the belief systems and guiding principles of every company is different.
Within the context of your belonging to a business institution you are connected and you’ll definitely have to relate with everyone in your corporate world.
You will relate with people in your team and in between teams, you will relate with people who are your subordinates, your contemporaries and even your superiors.
Depending on your company’s HR structure and reporting lines you will naturally interact more with certain people than others.
However, every now and again your role and position could change then the people you’ll begin to relate with will be different on individual basis, but on official matters, the corporate culture remains the same.
In your organisation, the big picture is everybody’s picture and the team goals should all feed the corporate ambition. A strategy should be understood by all, and everyone ought to be connected in one way or the other through roles, responsibilities, duties and skills in order to drive the growth and prosperity of your business community hence, delivering impressive returns, on profit, welfare and general well being of members of your business community. It’s just built like that, that’s the way it is.
However, within this matrix is also the provision for each member to aspire, dream, be ambitious and rise in profile and status to the top – becoming a leader within the business community hence, the creation of levels and strata, promotion, appointments and offices to make this scheme practicable.
So as everyone is expected to work together for the common success of the business, each member is also expected to stand out and distinguish him-self or her-self in performance so as to attract a higher reward in power and welfare than other members of the business community.
However, a factor often ignored and disdained by many as a critical prerequisite to rapid personal growth and advancement in this world is personal branding and effective positioning.
Beyond capacity, ability, skills and hard work, your positioning in the minds of every member of your organisation can quickly make or mar your rapid progression possibilities.
This is not just about how you are or how you think you are, it’s more about how you are seen, the way your business community sees you, it’s how they think you are; it’s a perception thing not a reality show and in life, perception is stronger than reality.
Many years ago when I was much younger in career, one of my directors then, shared something quite interesting with me on positioning within a business organisation to enhance rapid progression to the top. He gave me a book on how to become a CEO, he asked that I read the book and share with him lessons learnt from the study within a week. He was a great boss, I really like him. I was in his office one evening and he told me this story.
Muyiwa, he began, there are four major categories of employees in an organisation. The category people believe you belong to will determine how they treat you, relate to you and inform your speed and possibility of leadership.
Let me illustrate he continued, every company has within it four categories of staff, the cow, the horse, the dog and the star.
Let’s start with the cow. The cow is that staff that is very resourceful. They are usually cerebral with so many qualifications and they keep acquiring certificates and qualifications. They read a lot and have loads of information about the business, the industry and various trends, they know where and how to get any information no matter how absurd or rare, they have all information at their fingertips and everyone in the organisation know they can be contacted for any information at any point in time and quickly too.
They are reliable and dependable for records as they have very good memory and documentation habit. They are that staff everyone loves to milk when they need information and data to work with. They are loaded with intellectual resources.
The second category is the horse, the horse.
This is another category of employees differentiated on the account of power and energy. These guys are very, very hard working. They work very long hours and are never tired as it seems. They can easily work overnight on weekends and can go on for years without holidays or vacations. They love to work, they don’t mind travelling on short notices and no destination is too far for them. They have so much energy, they are not lazy at all; these guys always make the list of committees to work on different projects, event or company activity. They will do it, they love to volunteer and as long as it concerns energy and action, trust them; they are there. They are the horses; they carry the burden and weight of the business and run with it, they’ve got the power and energy to make things happen.
The third class of workers are the dogs, at times referred to as the pet.
These guys differ in terms of their kind of relevance; they are the ones that serve the personal and unofficial interests of the owners or leaders of the business. They are expert sycophants and praise singers. They are snitches and they gossip a lot. They go around snooping and searching for information they can pass on to the boss they’re loyal to. They are the managers of the grapevine. They identify the so-called enemies of their masters and begin to look for things and information to discredit these enemies and pass on to the boss. Their ears are always on the ground to pick on any plot and scheme against their boss and quickly pass on to the boss in exchange for protection, favour, promotion and job security.
Some of these guys help the boss run errands like shopping, paying bills, fixing cars, laundry and the likes. You find them running around when the boss has an event or occasion, in fact when the boss has a major event these guys may not show up in the office; they’re in the bosses’ house.
The pets are loyal to some powerful guy on top in exchange for favours – bones and crumbs from the master’s table. They bootlick, they suck up.
The last category is the stars, the stars. These guys are the brains behind the business; they are extremely knowledgeable about the workings of the business. They know exactly what the business is about, what the vision and mission of the business is where the business is at, and where the business is headed.
These are the think tanks within the business, they plan and develop the business strategy; they are always thinking ahead, anticipating challenges and solving problems. Everyone gravitates towards them for solution.
They are extremely intelligent and creative; they know the ways out and way through, the cows, the horses and the pets look on to them for direction. The stars Muyiwa, are the future leaders of the business.
Being a cow – having all qualifications, information and being cerebral is not enough to become a leader. Being a horse, having energy and working hard is not enough requirement to lead the business, being a dog, or a pet; boot licking and sucking up can never guarantee an ascending and sustenance of leadership but being a star – a leading light, Creative, intelligent, full of solution and answers; knowing the way and showing the way is the surest way to leadership. He concluded.
Dear friend, what group or category do you think you belong to? In fact it’s beyond what you think, the question really is what category do people think you belong to?
Dear friend are you seen as a cow, a horse, a pet or a star in your organisation? Please reposition yourself appropriately if you really want to reach the top.
My dear employee, know thyself.
Enjoy your day.