RULE 6: Know Something Others Don’t

Nigeria’s Music Rapper, M.I. & Blogger, GDA

I
once worked with a chap called Steve who knew as much French, probably, as the rest of us, but
who saw it as an opportunity to have something no one else did.  He went to evening classes, went on holiday
to France every year, listened to French records and read French novels.  Within a very short time he was fluent, very
good. He had also, accurately, predicted that we were going into Europe and his knowledge of French became a very valuable asset
indeed.  Knowing something that other
people don’t know gives you an edge and it’s that edge that you’re looking
for.  Steve did it with
language –using it to carve out a niche – but you can do it with skills,
talents, expertise, aptitude or flair.

First
you have to look at your talents – and this is part of Rule 3.7: Know your
strengths and weakness and decide where specialist knowledge could be
useful.  Perhaps you’re a wizard with
computers or other technology.  Maybe you
are very creative and could usefully know a lot that others don’t.  I had a friend who knew the print business
inside and out, when printing work was needed it was always to her that the
bosses went. This gave her, her edge.
How
about finance?  Could you interpret the
business pages for others?  Or how about
being the one who really understands the budget?  Or future? 
Or software installation?  Or
contracts?  Or staff issues? Or union
laws?  Or health and safety?  Or foreign customs and business
practices?  Or currency conversions?  Or body language?  Or team building?  Or chairing meetings really well?  Or. Or. Come on, you have to do some of this
as well.  I’m not going to give you all
my best ideas.

That way others will
come to you when they have need of your services.  If you know something they don’t you become a
consultant rather than a mere employee. 
Obviously, if it is something your boss needs that’s all the better”.

Whatever
it is you decide upon make sure it is:
·                   
relevant
·                   
topical
·                   
Interesting.
That
way others will come to you when they have need of your services.  If you know something they don’t you become a
consultant rather than a mere employee. 
Obviously, if it is something your boss needs that’s all the better.
I
worked with one chap who had made it his business to know the local nightlife
better than the rest of us – restaurants, night-clubs, theatre, that sort of
thing.  It seemed a bit irrelevant at
first, but when we started talking to a lot of clients from out of town who
needed to stay over, he certainly made his mark. Guess who was called in to
show them around in the evenings and thus was part of the wining and dining
circuit? Yep.  And, of course, once in
with the bosses at that level, it wasn’t long before he too was one of them.
(Excerpts from THE
RULES OF WORK by Richard Templer Read “How to be 100 Percent committed” from The Rules tomorrow on Asabeafrika)






Rule-to-Work Series













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