Do you sit in your cubicle hoping to get a promotion one day? Do you feel ignored, overwhelmed or just plain burned out? Maybe you're simply not making an impact.

The impact you have in your organization will define how you are looked at — and whether you have a future there. It is not enough just to go in and punch a proverbial time clock to get ahead. There is more to life both in and out of the office. Both leaders and employees have an obligation not only to themselves, but also to those for whom they work.

What does it take to be impactful at your organization? Here are four areas to review.

Seizing opportunities

You should do more than just show up to collect a paycheck. The greatest gift you can give yourself is to help yourself. Take a class, pursue a degree or get a certification in your field of expertise. The sky is the limit, relevant to what you can do.

Leaders can also help by being a mentor or coach. They can give their employees opportunities to grow and make them shine.


Your decisions do matter, and making the right one can be difficult. Decisions are not always easy to make, but they must be made.

Analysis paralysis is often the biggest deterrent in making choices. However, the conclusions that are derived after evaluation can either make or break you or the organization. This is where you can make the greatest impact.

You are responsible for your action or inaction. Be bold and take the steps necessary in making decisions that will benefit both you and the organization.

Empowering others

One of the best ways to be impactful is giving power to others. People should be given every chance to shine. As a leader, let individuals make the most of their gifts.

As UCLA coaching legend John Wooden stated, "Make every day your masterpiece." Do the best that you can, even if you make a mistake. Giving your all will make your life more special and unique. Doing less than your best is shirking your responsibility.

Leaders should instill in their people that is OK to do more and to be more. This is the best way to grow.


Communication is the pathway for empowering others. Too many times, we only half-listen to others and speak in half-truths. As a leader, you must learn how to listen. It will be a gold mine for you and others. This is one of the best habits anyone can learn.

Communication is a two-way street. Give others an opportunity to respectfully speak their minds. This will help both sides see the whole picture, and it is a chance to learn what is really happening within your organization and with your people.

Finally, being impactful is a way to grow and use opportunities to your advantage. As leadership expert John Maxwell reflects, "The true measure of leadership is influence nothing more, nothing less." This is what being impactful really means.