Editor's Desk

By Michael Hughes

Earn their belief

Within the last month, many newly minted industrial and systems engineers crossed a stage, flipped their tassel from right to left and entered the new world of working for a living.

Those with jobs are preparing for their first days in their new career. Those without are still hunting for opportunities. All want to make a good impression on potential bosses, employers and team members.

Perhaps Bob Gold and D. Scott Sink can help. While many may deride marketing and branding as tools to persuade the gullible to purchase what they don't want or need, Gold and Sink posit that brand, believability and style are just as important to career development as technical know-how.

As they write in this month's cover story, successfully implementing any improvement initiative requires more than a great solution. You have to get other stakeholders to buy in. If you can't, your projects – and perhaps, eventually, your career – will wither on the vine.

The pair cover a lot of ground, from William T. Morris' three-ball problem of IE project implementation to using the Johari window to uncover your branding blind spots to 10 things that require little talent but can become the bedrock of your brand to a seven-part list that goes beyond Stephen Covey's celebrated seven habits of highly effective people.

The advice from Gold and Sink holds true for those in the middle or late stages of their career as well. The goal is to build credibility. To do that, it helps to understand the voice of the stakeholders, whether they are team members or C-suite executives, and how they fit into the improvement game. All of those people need to know that they can count on you and your team to deliver results and meet certain service levels. Getting them on board will allow you, your enterprise and your stakeholders to win.

So peruse "Hone Your Brand, Believability and Style." Perhaps an injection of the art and science of persuasion can jump-start your career.

Michael Hughes is managing editor of IISE. Reach him at mhughes@iise.org or (770) 349-1110.