Man, I’ve been chucked under the bus so many times that I have permanent tire marks on my head. I’ve been tossed to the pavement by colleagues, higher-ups, and teammates that I thought were close friends. I mean what the hell, aren’t we supposed to work as a team and have each other’s backs? History and experience tells me that I’ve been very naive.
You want to be driving your bus, not finding yourself buried under it. Here’s some suggestions for you.
Identify Your Allies. Trust me, relationship building is your most important job. You have to invest in your people and foster strong partnerships with your colleagues, including the boss man. If you’re managing a team, you must create an environment of teamwork. And if something goes wrong, you go down with the ship—and make sure that you’re team knows that you’re willing to do that.
Deliver. If you’re producing, I mean really contributing to the success of your company, then you will be the one that people look up to and the one that provides the direction. And by delivering, it doesn’t mean it’s a solo mission. Drive yourself and your team to be extraordinary, together.
Go Public. You know what? It’s time to stand up for yourself and communicate your accomplishments. You’re not going to get recognized if you don’t market yourself. So be your own brand steward, cause it’s your responsibly—don’t trust that anyone will do it for you. You’ve got this and I believe in you.
Keep it Constructive. You got something to say? Well by god, keep it positive. DO NOT rail on a coworker and please don’t take your boss down. It’s a death sentence. Remember, it’s human nature to retaliate and you don’t want the cannon pointed at you. Keep your cool.
Focus on the Future. Don’t turn around and look at the past; cause truly there is nothing there. I’m not suggesting that you don’t learn from your mistakes, because reflection is valuable. But you need to focus on what’s important—and that is the next step. You might have been sabotaged before, but you can’t dwell on it. Learn from it and move on.
Own It. Be strategic and develop your own ideas. Do the research, defend your hypothesis, and sell it to the hilt. No one values someone that can’t think for themselves. In fact, an idle mind is a nail in the coffin. And sitting back, letting someone else do the thinking for you just breeds mediocrity. So don’t take the centerline. Use those brains and be exceptional.
So now that you are driving the bus, don’t feel the need to throw your colleagues under it. Trust me, karma is a bitch.