Work yourself out of a job
Being irreplaceable can help you through a downturn – but it can also hold you back during the good times. You should aim to be mobile (ie replaceable) enough to grasp the next big opportunity when it arises. Make sure you have an obvious successor and – most importantly – that your boss rates him or her as highly as you do. Nothing enhances your own mobility like having somebody ready to backfill into your own role.
Bring in people who are better than you
Surround yourself with people whose skills are different from yours. If you are an arts person, bring in scientists – and vice versa. If you are a systemiser, bring in empathisers – and vice versa. Bring them into your team and energise them.
Know when to call in the cavalry
You’ve got a problem and it just won’t go away. You are floundering and – if you don’t find a solution soon – you will be defined (at least in your bosses’ mind) by this damned problem. Take the initiative and get external help. Fresh thinking and an outsider’s perspective really do work wonders. Just do it!
And finally, don’t lunch at your desk!
Lunchtime is a great opportunity to sit with the people who may well hold the keys to your future. Get out there and make yourself known to them!