It can be tough to get a seat with your client’s big decision makers. Are you in the corner office, or are you just in the corner?
Workplace expert and President of JB Training Solutions Brad Karsh talked to high level professionals at Grant Thornton, the American Medical Association, DIGITAS, NALCO, Northern Trust and Harris Bank to get insight on how to get the C-suite to take notice. One piece of advice for pros looking to get a seat at the table was universal: Pull up a chair, and know the business.
“Know what makes the company money. Think like the CFO. Follow the money, and you learn the business,” Deirdre Drake, SVP/HR, Harris Bank & Trust said.
Here are four tips for learning the business to get the C-suite to take notice.
How can you help to make life easier for everyone at the company? How can you align your goals with the goals of the company? Consistently offering solutions to any problems will earn a permanent seat at the table.
This may seem like a daunting prospect, especially if you don’t have a business or finance background. But if you can’t read and understand the annual report, you aren’t really speaking the same language as the C-suite. Understanding and relating to the annual report will display your vested knowledge and interest in the well-being of the entire company.
While it might not be feasible for you to earn an MBA, it is absolutely to your benefit to make time for a business class at your local college. By taking accounting, finance, or operations, you can better understand business fundamentals. You can learn how to understand your P&L statement, cost center and profit center. Having sharp business acumen is important in the eyes of C-suite players.
Subscribe to the Wall Street Journal or your trade magazine, and familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of the industry and business landscape. This will build a better understanding of the economy/market, trends, and important business drivers to see the bigger picture at your organization.