Recently, a conversation came up with colleagues about how to create value in our businesses. The answers were extremely varied because “value” is a subjective metric. What I stated was that to be noticed, appreciated and retained, you must take full personal responsibility for creating significant results-oriented value for our organization. This means needing to think through each daily decision and know its impact on your customers, your job or your company. If you think the above statement is only for business owners then you are sadly mistaken because if you are earning a paycheck, you need to be adding value or you are dispensable. I define earning a paycheck as being employed as either owning a business or working for someone else.
To get a bit more granular, “value” is anything that increases the chances that the other person will achieve what he or she wants to achieve. Regardless of your title or your income or the size of your organization or your industry, you have one critically important job to do today. That job is to add value. Every day you have to ask yourself, “Today how am I going to create value for other people and deliver it as well as I can?” You have to have a ferocious and committed drive to creating and delivering value every day.
So how can you add value today? Here are some simple examples that can help any person, regardless of situation, add value so they can become an indispensable person in the lives of others:
- Take initiative. Step up and take responsibility to help solve some problems in the organization. Be the one that hunts for opportunities for your business, client, or customer to be successful. Hiding in the back of the team and not speaking up doesn’t drive value.
- Know your strengths. To stand out in the workplace, you must be able to know what you are intrinsically good at. What are your talents and strengths? After you figure those out, let your company know the areas in the workplace that allow you to play to your strengths. Sometimes it means minor job modifications or enhancements; sometimes it means more significant changes. Either way, if you understand how you can be best positioned and are able to communicate that clearly to your company, everyone will be in a better place so value can be created at a higher level.
- Know the organization. Be familiar with the business purpose, mission and value statements. This shows your effort to understand the business and to use this information to regularly make decisions that positively affect customers, clients or the business. If you connect with a higher purpose you are more likely to add extreme value in everything you do for that purpose.
- Care immensely. We tend to care in our personal life but sometimes its lost in our professional life. Take caring about the details of your work to the highest level that you have ever done. Don’t obsess over your bonus or your title as those things will come as you add value.
- Be a student. There are a multitude of sources you can access to expand your career knowledge, from industry magazines and books, to online research, training programs, professional seminars and continued education. Whatever you do, there is always something you can learn from it. Make it your goal to learn something new every day to add value to those around you.
- Focus on the bottom line. Know the impact of your ideas. Don’t just propose things without understanding how they might make a difference. Think things through and know the numbers. Propose ideas that make sense because this is what drives value.