Steps to Management Success – Step 71: Make Sure to Have at Least One Specialty

Written By Rick Frishman Published April 2nd, 2010

STEP SEVENTY-ONE

Make Sure to Have at Least One Specialty

Of course it’s good to know a little bit about everything and to be as familiar as possible with every aspect of your business—but you don’t want your knowledge base to be a mile wide and an inch deep. Becoming an expert in a strategically relevant area or two can greatly enhance your current value to your company—and be a valuable selling point throughout your career.

WHAT IT MEANS: Although you will probably be expected to be a “generalist” as a manager, it pays to acquire a specialty. For example, if you’re a marketing manager, you might learn about how to export to European countries or about direct mail or about database marketing techniques. Having this specialty can help your business pursue promising opportunities that it might otherwise have not considered.

ACTION PLAN: Consider an area or two of interest that you could develop further as your professional specialty, and then get educated. These days you have many options: books, seminars, online research, or, possibly, being apprenticed to a mentor. Use any or all methods as needed. Your company may, ideally, subsidize the cost of a course or seminar, but don’t let that become an obstacle. Dig into your own pocket if you have to. It’s tax deductible—and it’s worth it!

EVEN BETTER: Once you have developed your expertise, you need to put it into play. This will require some self-marketing. Let the powers that be know of your expertise. Suggest or volunteer for projects that would utilize it. One great way of establishing yourself as an expert is to write an article and get it published or widely circulated. Presenting at a conference can also solidify your credentials as an expert.

(Excerpted from: 10 Clowns Don’t Make a Circus. . . and 249 Other Critical Management Success Strategies by Steven Schragis and Rick Frishman)


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