Time To Level Up

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“WHAT VALUE WILL YOU BRING TO THIS ORGANIZATION?”

This question comes up early in most interviews and is something you’ve already demonstrated to secure the position that you’re in today. As a contributor to an organization, you must continue to bring value to progress your career. Regularly people ask me how they can translate what they do into more meaningful and valuable contributions to their organization. While there are many great ways to add value to your current role, there are a few simple yet practical steps that I’ve outlined below for tangible results.

KNOW YOUR STRENGTHS

If you’re unsure of your strengths, NOW is the time to ask. Ask your boss, peers, and trusted circle of friends to understand better what you’re 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 a review by providing at least three areas in which they feel your work is stellar before they move into areas of improvement. If yours doesn’t, then don’t be afraid to ask. If it’s not initially provided, I might suggest something along these lines when soliciting positive feedback during a review.

“I appreciate your feedback, and I will most definitely work on these things. Additionally, I’d like your insight into what I’m doing well and what you find to be my strengths.” 

“This has been extremely insightful, and I’m confident I can improve in X and Y areas. Additionally, I like to continue developing my natural talents and was hoping you could provide me with some areas where you find my work valuable.”

Remember that you don’t have to solicit feedback from superiors alone. Instead, you should reach out to peers,  mentors, and friends when trying to discover your strengths and better understand the areas in which you excel. Sometimes you’ll be surprised at what they say (I know I have been). But remember, if three or more people provide similar strengths, I would say it’s something you are exceptional at!

EXPLOIT YOUR STRENGTHS

Once you’ve identified your strengths, it’s time to EXPLOIT them! Again, the proper definition of exploit is to use and benefit fully.

Each of us possesses unique strengths that come naturally to us. These exceptional talents set us apart from our peers and should be further honed and crafted. So, instead of spending all of your time and energy and focusing on improving your weaknesses, I encourage you to make full use of and benefit from your God-given talents.

As people, we tend to glaze over the positive feedback we receive and go straight to the recommended areas of improvement. Unfortunately, in doing this, we lose sight of our positive gifts and constantly battle against imperfection. As a result, 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. But what I am saying here is this…SPEND MORE TIME DEVELOPING YOUR STRENGTHS and spend less time trying to improve areas where you may never be EXCEPTIONAL.

REPLICATE 

Replication is the last key to providing value and is 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 is a proven way to replicate my value exponentially. If I can translate and teach others how to be successful, we all succeed, and that’s gold. That’s where true success comes in. 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 could meet or exceed the goal you had set out to reach. Next, break it down and place the key pieces that made it successful. Once you have done this, write it out. It’s proven that the only way to obtain and replicate knowledge is by transferring thoughts from your brain to your hand through the written word. Once you’ve done this, you can duplicate this process for future projects and, more importantly, SHARE it with others. By sharing your success stories and how you achieved them with others, you are providing value to your organization that exceeds expectations and grows yourself and others. This is the TRUE way to make yourself indispensable.

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Episode #32 Patrice Ford Lyn: Executive Coach

Since receiving an undergraduate degree in sociology from Yale University and a graduate degree in nonprofit management from Harvard’s Kennedy School, I have guided the startup of three national-level organizations for over 25 years.

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