Are you a VIP?

Are you an important person? Are you perhaps even a Very Important Person? Are you so important that you’re more important than someone else?

 

If the answer to those first two questions was a resounding yes then good for you. Understanding that you have value in this world and to those around you is healthy and in fact necessary for success.

 

If however, your answer to that third question was also a yes, even a hesitant yes, well then not so good for you.

 

It’s great to know that no one in this world is more important than you. But…. it’s only useful to know if you also know that you’re no more important than anyone else. As you’re sitting in the back seat of a limousine watching someone board the city bus for their commute to work you may start feeling pretty good about your station in life. That’s fine, you have likely earned what you have. But it’s vital that you understand that “what you have” doesn’t make you a better or more important human being than someone who may have less “stuff” or a lower position in their organization.

 

Leaders are people, just people. They begin to fail as a leader the moment they begin to think they are something more. They begin to lose touch with the world and the people who make them a leader. Their view of reality begins to cloud over and they begin to believe that they “deserve” more than the people they lead.

 

Leaders who think they are better people than those they lead build walls between themselves and their people. They kill the morale of the people that both the leader and their people will need to succeed. Leaders who think they are better people than anyone else are very limited leaders.

 

They miss the most vital part of leadership: an understanding that leadership is about people, people and only people. Anything in business, or life, not related to people is just management or process. When people are involved, it’s leadership.

 

Anything that someone in a leadership position does that separates them from their people makes them a less effective leader. ANYTHING!

 

No one is more important than you and you’re no more important than anyone else. When you live your life with that simple balance people will be drawn to you. Your leadership experience will be one that makes a difference for everyone it touches. 


Now that’s pretty darn important! 

Everyone Wants to Feel Worthwhile

Everyone wants to feel worthwhile. There is little doubt about that fact. Everyone knows that. I suppose there is someone who might be surprised by that but they must live in some alternate universe. 

Leaders know that their people want to feel as if they matter. Great leaders know that it goes beyond a want, it is in fact a basic human need. 

But knowing that and doing something about it are two very different things. Knowing your people need to feel worthwhile is useless unless you use that knowledge to actually take specific actions that help them feel worthwhile. 

Specific actions. Strategic actions. Intentional actions. Consistent actions. 

Showing your people that they matter, that what they do makes a difference, is not a once a year, or once in a while activity. Ensuring that your people know that they are worthwhile and demonstrating exactly how they are worthwhile, requires a high level of intentionality. 

I literally recommend that leaders put a reminder in their calendar to stop whatever it is they are doing and at least once a day connect with one or more members of their team to show them how they are worthwhile to the team. To explain to them how their skills and abilities add value to the organization. Human beings need to know that they matter. They need to know that they, and what they do are worthwhile. 

I think almost everyone reading this knows that, the question is what are you as a leader doing about it? 

I’ve spoken about this often enough in front of groups and with individual leaders to know that there is actually some hesitation with revealing a person’s true value to an organization. I’ve had “leaders” tell me that if my people know how much they are really valued by the company they will want to be paid more or they may leave. 

Yep, that’s possible. Here’s what else is possible, actually more than possible, it’s even likely that if your people don’t think they matter, if they don’t know that they are valued, they WILL leave. Often, they will leave for less money. 

But here’s the real reason for helping your people feel worthwhile: it’s the right thing to do. 

If you need a more compelling reason for helping people feel better about themselves and what they do then this isn’t the blog you should be reading. But I wish you luck in your leadership endeavors, you’ll just find them much more challenging than they need to be. 

 

Are You an Added Value?

Do you add value to your employer or organization? I ask because if you’re not adding value then exactly what are you adding?

Generally speaking, very generally speaking, companies have two types of employees, those who they think of in terms of “why should we keep them,” and those they think of in terms of “how can we keep them.”

It’s never good to be in that first group. Always looking for ways to be more valuable to your company is a great way to ensure you’re in the second group.

But what exactly is this “value” thing anyway. Well the answer to that is, it depends. I know that “it depends” is a really weak answer but the fact is, it depends. Value is determined by the person or group receiving it. What that means is if you want to be certain that you’re adding value you’re going to have to ask. 

If you’ve never sat down with your manager or leader and asked what you can do to add more value to your company or organization then you ought to consider doing that soon. It’s a worthwhile discussion and you’ll very likely learn something that will surprise you.

Without that specific information you’re left to guess at what adding value looks like. That said, here are a few pretty good guesses:

Lighten your leaders load. Whenever you have the opportunity, take something off your boss’s plate. If you can help them get more done then do it but never at the expense of your own responsibilities. Failure to do your job does not help your organization, your boss might like the extra help it at first but it won’t last. 

Learn new things. If you’re not consistently growing and learning it’s unlikely that you’ll continuously add value. Thanks to the Internet it’s never been easier to learn something new every day. Choose your sources well however as not everything you read online is true… I know that comes as a shock to some people but it’s true that not everything online is true. That however is true. 🙂

Share the wealth. Your knowledge makes you valuable, sharing your knowledge makes you value added. If everything you know leaves your organization when you do that’s a terrible waste. Coach, mentor and teach whenever you see the opportunity. If you have the ability to help others grow you’ll always be in demand somewhere. It’s the truest form of job security there is these days. 

It’s your actions that will determine if you’re a “should we” or a “how do we” type of employee. If you want to be a “should we keep them” type then don’t do a thing… you’re probably already there.

If you want to be a “how do we keep them” type then step up, do more, do it smarter,and do it often. 

It’s not just a mindset, it’s a mindset of success!