Key Point: As we learn more about real contribution, it is very important to focus less on your job title and contact information on your business card. Instead, demonstrate the “actual value” you’re able to provide employers. Who really cares what the title on a business card is these days? And with digital identity, many people don’t really care about business cards at all. At the same time, I do believe, words like “president,” “director,” “manager,” “partner,” “Dr.,” etc. carry some introductory weight. But as we determine the benefit of a relationship with others, proof and evidence of “value provided” is what really counts.
It is really interesting to be back interviewing for a job after eight years of being a CEO of an international, privately held, profitable company. I am, by business card criteria, very accomplished. I have CEO and president in my title, three times. COO once, and VP three times. I also have the titles of “founder” and “partner.” I might as well have the title of “Supreme Intergalactic Commander.” The reality is that people who are interviewing me only care a little about those titles. However, they are laser fixed on my ability to demonstrate how I solved problems and achieved results. And they are very sophisticated in separating wheat from chaff.
- Wherever you are in your career/ job, document problems solved and results achieved. Do it as you go, not after you have left.
- Develop a “value offered card” more than a “business title card.” Be great at a few things… Benchmark to be the very best. Practice, practice, practice, and ten years later, few will have your results and skill. This will hopefully allow you to monetize the equity you have built in yourself. (Think ahead… Is anyone going to care about what core skills you currently have a few years from now?)
- Most of us are NOT great at everything. Be honest about areas that are not strengths. However, let’s commit to being THE best at what we’re good at and like to do.
- Someone out there likely needs what you are good at and like to do. That value, in the western capitalistic society we live in, usually is expressed in monetary terms. For example, the value we bring to the largest group who needs/wants what we have to offer, usually results in the biggest monetary pay out.
- Build a value card more than a business card.
Value card in the Triangle,
Key point: Gratitude is directly connected to the value of abundance. In FACT, expressing and feeling a sense of gratitude is good for us. Dr. Robert Emmons and his team at UC Davis have conducted important research to determine the relationship between having a sense of gratitude and our sense of well being. On the other hand, referencing the work of Oxford’s Matt Ridley, the authors, Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler, in their book Abundance, note that we have a propensity to embrace pessimism. The concept called “loss aversion,” which is a bias towards putting more emphasis on our losses versus wins, can put us into a “sour puss” rut. Practicing gratitude is a great antidote!
The following summarizes Emmons’ (August 2011) findings regarding the benefits to people who score high on the gratitude scale:
- Well-Being: Grateful people report higher levels of positive emotions, life satisfaction, vitality, optimism and lower levels of depression and stress. The disposition toward gratitude appears to enhance pleasant feelings more than it diminishes unpleasant emotions. Grateful people do not deny or ignore the negative aspects of life.
- Prosociality: People with a strong disposition toward gratitude have the capacity to be empathetic and to take the perspective of others. They are rated as more generous and more helpful by people in their social networks.
- Spirituality: Grateful people are more likely to acknowledge a belief in the interconnectedness of all life and a commitment and responsibility to others. Gratitude does not require religious faith, but faith enhances the ability to be grateful.
- Materialism: Grateful individuals place less importance on material goods. They are less likely to judge their own and others success in terms of possessions accumulated. They are less envious of others and are more likely to share their possessions.
- Practice being grateful by consciously identifying what and who we are grateful for.
- Get into the habit of writing down what and who we are grateful for on a daily basis. If daily feels like too much, try it once a week.
- Be careful of the negative outcome of having a loss aversion bias. Let’s put wins and losses in perspective. If you focus on loss and lack, that’s what you’re likely to experience.
- Have fun being grateful. e.g. When grateful for what someone might do for you, tweet them a beer ….See Tweet-A-Beer.
- Read Abundance by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler. It makes us more hopeful for the future!
Gratitude in the Triangle ,
Key point: to be a great communicator you have to be truly present. Do you know the 4 key principles of being present? If not what do you do to practice being present? If the answer is that you don’t, you likely have some work to do.
A lot of people have asked me about what I think makes a truly great communicator. One thing I’ve always emphasized in responding, is the importance of remembering how you make people feel. However to make people feel a positive connection with you, PRESENCE is vital. I recently ran across an iconic article written by Christopher von Baeyer entitled “The Power of Presence.” The following is the essence captured in 4 key elements:
- PRESENT: The ability to be centered and aware in each moment of communication.
- REACHING OUT: The ability to build and sustain an authentic relationship with one’s audience.
- EXPRESSIVE: The ability to communicate dynamically and congruently with voice, body, mind and emotion.
- SELF-KNOWING: The ability to reflect upon and leverage one’s unique identity as a person and a professional.
If you have consistent feedback and a validated understanding how to really apply the big 4 above, you’re probably a darn good people connector. If not , I suggest you learn more about about how to develop yourself more in this area . It is a never ending development journey. (By the way, great companies like The Boston Consulting Group, put leaders through days of training on this capability.)
- Recognize that developing an authentic personal communication system is something each of us can develop. It is a skill system and not just something we’re born with or not. We have to work at it.
- Determine where you are relative to each of the 4 principles and pick ONE thing to work on (e.g.working at appropriate eye contact, remembering people’s names and something about them, finding our voice, etc.)
- Remember that at the end of every interaction, people will remember how you made them feel over everything else.
4. Make the ability to be a great communicator and people connector one of your core skills.
Be PRESENT in The Triangle,