The business world is full of utility players. These are people who can do almost anything that needs to be done, and they're always willing to help out in a pinch. If you're new to running your own company or department within an existing organization, then becoming a utility player can help you succeed as much as it helps others around you achieve success as well.
The utility player is a person who can fill any gap. It is someone you can trust to do whatever is needed without complaint or hesitation. They're reliable, hardworking individuals who are willing to go above and beyond their job descriptions in order to help others succeed. It means being adaptable enough not just survive but thrive while working under conditions that would be too stressful otherwise.
Being able to fill in the gaps – wherever they lie – is an important skill for any entrepreneur or leader. If you want to start a business, or if you're already running one, there's no way around it: you will have to do everything at some point.
You'll have to be the expert on your strategy, financials, goals, logistics, and marketing tactics, among other things. And you'll have to fill these gaps until you can afford people to replace you.
Being a utility player can help you be more aware of what your team needs to succeed. As the utility player, you get an opportunity to see how everything at your business functions. This means that you have insight into how each piece of the puzzle fits together — and which pieces need some work before they'll play well with others. Knowing these things allows you to adjust accordingly.
Similarly, being able to see across all areas will enable you identify gaps in both your business practices and your industry as a whole.
1. Be a relentless networker
What does it mean to be a good networker? It means you're constantly making connections with people in your industry, whether they're colleagues or business partners (or even competitors). You use social media as an extension of that connection process—you may find them through LinkedIn groups, Facebook groups or Twitter chats where others are sharing information about what's going on in their industry or how they can help each other out with advice and referrals.
2. Be patient and a problem solver
Being a utility player means that you're going to be called upon to do many things and sometimes, the tasks will be tedious and irritating. Be patient with your team and yourself. Use your problem solving skills to tackle any challenge that comes your way.
3. Always keep learning
Keep learning new skills so that when there's an opportunity for growth, you'll be ready for it. If you're willing to fill gaps in your business with passion and energy, then you'll always be set for growth.