About Me

I am A Chartered Certified Accountant who does a bit of gardening.
The Pictures of the flowering and non-flowering plants, fruits, vegetables, culinary & aromatic herbs
in this blog are of my garden.
Most of my garden collections are driven by the Fs: They either Flower, have a Fragrance, provide Flavor, bring Fruit, Food or are air Freshening.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

How to be exceptional in 2016...Be the Go-To Professional

Is there someone whom you immediately think of or go to or call whenever you are in a fix or in need of a sounding board? Why do you consider that person as your resource or solutions provider?

On the other hand, as a professional, have you sometimes received requests for support or help beyond your normal service offering or field of expertise? Imagine if anyone who had a problem thought of you as their solutions provider or at least the starting point for them getting one? That is a great opportunity for you to position yourself as the #GoToProfessional within your field of expertise.

Steven Pearce & John Timperley interviewed senior professionals in the accounting, legal, consulting, real estate and financial services sectors - people who were recognized by their clients and peers as being the ‘go to’ professional in their field. They were seeking to find out what makes people distinctive in their chosen profession, and what makes them attractive to clients and work referrers. They were focusing on the importance of #personalbrand – the reasons why those who have work to give choose one professional to the assignment over another.

They talked to a range of personality types with differing styles of doing business, honed specifically to the markets in which they operate. They realized there were some common denominators - the DNA of a ‘go-to’ professional – that can be analysed and, to an extent, copied. These were:
  • Network - the approach 'go-to' professionals adopt when managing their network
  • Persona - the professional profile and 'brand' they cultivate for themselves
  • Practice - the role and specialism they build their career on
  • Relationships - their attitude to developing relationships with clients, contacts and colleagues
Whether it is their external network of contacts, client and work referrers, or their internal colleagues, the senior professionals they interviewed all recognised the vital importance of building alliances and trusted relationships with those in a position to influence. However, it’s by no means a self-serving approach - what came through clearly from the comments was a genuine interest in being of help to others.

Authority. Presence. Gravitas. These are the sort of words the interviewees used to describe the almost mystical aura of a top-flight professional. But far from being born with these qualities, most of the interviewees acknowledged that to an extent, they were cultivated. Indeed, there does seem to be an element of performance about professional life – clients expect their key advisers to behave in a certain way, and a key element of success is an individual’s ability to inhabit that professional persona, day in, day out.

It is often said that, at the top level of professional services, what you know, or your technical area of specialism, is a “given”; it is the other aspects of professional life that need development. This may be so, but the interviewees were very aware of the need to position their expertise, and to constantly update and re-focus their personal practices. Understand your own strengths and weaknesses and find a specialism to fit. Become a subject matter expert – early. It’s not just what you know - It’s how you communicate what you know.

Be it internal relationships within their firm or those with clients and contacts outside, 'go-to' professionals emphasised the need to understand the other person's agenda. This required them to read and respond to different personality styles. Many had a service mindset and preferred the phone or meetings over email to create more meaningful dialogue with contacts.The key to successful professional interactions lies in the ability to identify the other person’s personality style, and flex your own to achieve a connection. Have a Service mindset matters as much as technical proficiency.

I would recommend you get yourself an electronic copy of the 'Becoming the Go-To Professional' research report by Steven Pearce & John Timperley.

A good new year’s resolution to add to your list would be to be the Go-To Professional.

Wishing you the best of 2016!

Image credit:www.theetiquettenetwork.com

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