When it comes to business everything funnels back to the bottom line. Financials matter, but shows like The Profit emphasize that if your people aren’t the right fit, it may not matter what your product or service is. The traditional organizational chart is slowly being replaced by a more “flat” model, but since decisions need to be made quickly most companies still rely on an ultimate point person.
If you are the CEO, the pressure’s on, but for the majority of people who aren’t you have to manage up. If you’re in direct contact with the owner or main power player great, but if you’re not you still can influence the company if you’re intentional about it.
The heart of an organization usually lies with the sales force because without profit, you don’t have a business. Numbers talk, but even if you’re not in sales your “voice” becomes louder with results. So regardless of position, hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. If you want to be heard more, do something that makes noise so others notice you. If you put your head down, do your work and duck out you’ll never move up (as far as you’d like). It takes a shift from “me” to “we” in order to climb the ladder. That means when you start taking ownership for your responsibilities and realizing where it fits into the bigger part of the organization it starts to click.
At this point is where you start to take pride in your work. If a job is just a job, it’s only a matter of when, not if you leave. Looking at your position from the boss’ perspective changes everything. Like a well-oiled machine you start to see how each maneuver affects the other parts. The different layers of management start being more crucial to the overall success of the company. How decisions from the top trickle-down to the frontline: the customer-employee transaction. Now you understand how the top affects the bottom. Because you imagined how to run the company like it was your own.
It’s usually at this point where employees leave current positions to start their own business. You’ve learned an industry, witnessed a process that works and have ideas of how to make it more efficient. Thinking top-down doesn’t mean you should become an entrepreneur, but it should be your goal to at least think like one. So no matter where you are in your career, don’t forget: if you really want to affect the bottom line, start at the top.