• Adam Tarnow

Ambition Attracts Attention

Employee engagement statistics are abysmal. Don’t believe me? Just Google “Employee Engagement Statistics.” Finish reading this email first, though.

This isn’t new news. Leaders have been trying to solve this problem for years.

However, I'm noticing something. These ugly stats have led to a lopsided conversation. Most of what I read is almost entirely focused on the team leader or manager (examples: here, here, and here).

It seems the experts believe managers are the answer. To a certain extent, I agree. Real change always has to start at the top. But I think there's more.

These ugly stats are also a great opportunity. Now is a great time to be an employee. It’s never been easier to stand out and get noticed.

The bar has never been lower. If you are an employee, showing just a little bit of effort can go a long way in getting noticed by your boss.

In my career, I've noticed a principle: ambition attracts attention. Those who show the slightest ambition almost always attract their boss's attention. It kind of rhymes, doesn't it?

Remember this scene in Elf? Buddy showed some ambition and decorated Santa's Village to look like The North Pole. What did that ambition do? It got his boss’s attention. "Someone's gunnin' for my job!"

So what does this all mean? The opportunity to stand out and take control of your career has never been better.

All you have to do is try a little. Care, just a bit.

What will you get back? Attention.

Ambition always attracts your boss’s attention. Always.

How can you show ambition? Here are three simple ways.

One, make it clear that you "want" to work for your organization. I don't know your boss personally, but I'm willing to bet she "wants" someone who "wants" to be a part of her team. An attitude of "want to" is better than an attitude of "willing to."

Two, use the pronouns "we" and "us" as often as possible. Pronoun usage is tricky in our culture right now. However, "we" and "us" are safe pronouns that typically garner your boss's positive attention.

"We" and "us" communicate your mindset. They show that you are thinking about the team/company/organization and want to see the team/company/organization thrive.

Three, offer solutions, don't just point out problems. I know, I know. You’ve heard this one before. But sometimes it’s good to be reminded.

Leaders and bosses face problems every single day. It's part of the job. They are not looking to add more problems to their to-do list. They are looking for people to help them come up with solutions. Offering solutions will get you the attention you desire.

This list isn't complete, but it's a good place to start. Employee engagement isn't a problem that can be solved by bosses alone.

Both humble bosses and ambitious employees are both needed to solve this problem. When the two come together, watch out! Good things will happen!

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