“WHAT VALUE WILL YOU BRING TO THIS ORGANIZATION?”
This question comes up early in most interviews and is something you’ve already demonstrated in order to secure the position that you’re in today. As a contributor to an organization it’s important that you continue to bring value to progress your career. On a regular basis people ask me how they can translate what they do into more meaningful and valuable contributions for their organization. While there are many great ways to add value to your current role, there a a few simple, yet effective steps that I’ve outlined below for tangible results.
KNOW YOUR STRENGTHS
If you’re not sure what your strengths are, NOW is the time to ask. Ask your boss, your peers, and your trusted circle of friends to better understand what your good at. If you don’t already know this, then please, please, please make sure you take the time to figure it out! A good leader will generally start off a review by providing at least three areas that they feel your work is stellar before they move into areas of improvement. If yours doesn’t, then don’t be afraid to ask. I might suggest something along these lines when soliciting positive feedback during a review if it’s not initially provided.
“I appreciate your feedback and I will most definitely work on these things. Additionally, I’d like your insight into what I’m doing really well and what you find to be my strengths.”
“This has been extremely insightful and I’m confident I can improve in X, Y areas. Additionally, I like to continue developing my natural talents and was hoping you could provide me some areas that you find my work to be valuable.”
Keep in mind that you don’t have to solicit feedback from superiors alone. You should absolutely reach out to peers, mentors and friends when trying to discover your strengths and better understand the things areas that you excel in. Sometimes you’ll be surprised at what they say (I know I have been). Remember, if three or more people provide similar strengths, I would say it’s something your exceptional at!
EXPLOIT YOUR STRENGTHS
Once you’ve identified your strengths, it’s time to EXPLOIT them! The proper definition of exploit is make full use of and derive benefit from.
Each of us possess a unique set of strengths that come naturally to us. It’s these special talents that set us apart from our peers and should be further honed and crafted. Instead of spending all of your time, energy and focus on improving your weaknesses, I encourage you make full use of and derive benefit from your God given talents.
As people, we tend to glaze over positive feedback we receive and go straight to the recommended areas of improvement. In doing this, we lose sight of our positive gifts and instead live in a constant battle against imperfection. A large area of focus and energy becomes on us trying to improve where we, or others, feel we are falling short.
Now, don’t get me wrong I’m all about making improvements and I encourage self reflection and evaluation as well as feedback from others on how to improve. What I am saying here is this…SPEND MORE TIME DEVELOPING YOUR STRENGTHS and spend less time trying to improve areas that you may never be EXCEPTIONAL at.
Replication is the last key to providing value and it’s probably the most challenging. While I can continue to learn and improve, I can only get so far on my own. Sharing my tips, tricks and secrets to success are a proven way to replicate my value exponentially. If I can translate and teach others how to be successful, then we all succeed and that’s gold. That’s where the true success comes. Replicating value and success is a challenge and one that we’ll dive more into in future posts. Until then, I’ll give you just a couple of ideas on how you can replicate success.
First, identify a project when you were able to meet or exceed the goal that you had set out to reach. Next, break it down and identify the key pieces that made it successful. Once you have done this, write it out. It’s a proven fact that the only way to obtain and replicate knowledge is by transferring thoughts from your brain to your hand through written word. Once you’ve done this, you can duplicate this process for future projects and more importantly SHARE with others. By sharing your success stories and how you achieved them with others, you are providing a value to your organization that exceeds expectations and grows not only yourself but others and this is the TRUE way to make yourself indispensable.