I once hired a Web Producer at Dell who was responsible for the Systems / PC portion of the web site (multi-billion dollars of online business). She never bought anything online and didn't own a computer at home. But...she was competent, curious, creative, and entrepreneurial (meaning she took initiative). She analyzed metrics, came up with new ideas (curious/creative), could articulate and prioritize those ideas (competent), and quickly execute. She knew how her role impacted the business and customer and took initiative to maximize that opportunity. She turned out to be, in my opinion, the best Web Producer Dell ever had. But her resume didn't say that.
My two recommendations:
- Hire an interview people based on these factors -- general competence, curiosity creativity and entrepreneurism (proof of taking initiative)
- Be those things yourself to move your career forward
I once talked with a COO who said his job was to 'fill the voids'. I'd add to that and say it is also to identify the voids. Any employee can recognize existing gaps when something is broken. Few people identify strategic gaps that are unseen. Few employees are 'maximizers'. So, the few that are stand out! Managers especially should identify the missing opportunity for the business, take initiative, be the leader, pull together people and resources to get it done, and follow through. In a phrase, identify and fill the void.