“the secret path to the top” or Fast-Tracking My Career
I'm not sure I could boil it down to one thing. Life isn’t usually that simple. But if I really, really had to boil it down to one thing, I would say this: responsiveness.
So many people I meet are unresponsive. They don’t return their phone calls promptly. They don’t answer their emails quickly. They don’t complete their assignments on time. They promise to do something and never follow through. They have to be reminded, prodded, and nagged. This behavior creates work for everyone else and eats into their own productivity. Sadly, they seem oblivious to it.
When I was a kid, we used to play “Tag.” The objective was simple: keep from becoming “It.” If someone tagged you (touched you), you became “it” until you tagged someone else. Whoever was “it” when the game ended, lost.
Business is very similar. People “tag” us in countless ways every day. They place calls. They send emails. They mention something to us in a meeting. Suddenly, we are “it.” And, just like the game, if you stay “it” too long, you lose. The only winning strategy is to respond quickly and make someone else “it.”
Reality is that we live in an “instant world.” People want instant results. They don’t want to wait. And if they have to wait on you, their frustration and resentment grows. They begin to see you as an obstacle to getting their work done. If that happens, it will begin to impact your reputation. Pretty soon people start saying, “I can never get a timely response from him,” or “When I send her an email, I feel like it goes into a black hole,” or worse, your colleagues just roll their eyes and sigh at the mention of your name.
Source: Working Smart