What could you do within your existing (or future) company to increase your value and influence? The seven job skills that follow won’t mean you necessarily work harder, but that you work differently and more creatively.
You can add value if you choose to be:
Experience Manager. Every interaction with another person creates an experience that leaves a memory of you and your work. How are you consciously designing these experiences to be positive? Enriching? Rewarding? Lasting? Since most people don’t tell you about their experience unless it is awful, you have to work intentionally to design experiences that draw people back for more and that gets them to tell others about you, your products, and your services.
Value Creator. All great employees (including CEOs, owners, board members, etc.) add value to the organization’s offerings. Being a value creator is a form of job security. Value neutral employees are inter-changeable or worse, replaceable (More on this in Chapter 6).
Talent scout. Identify people within and outside your organization who would be a valuable addition to your team. Talents scouts have the ability to understand the talents and abilities individuals possess and match them with organizational needs. This makes your team stronger, but it also makes you a go-to person for resources and talent advice. Others will want to know who you know who can help.
Ambassador. A person is known by the company he or she keeps, and an organization is known by the people it keeps. You represent your organization, as well as yourself, to customers and vendors. Learn the history of your organization well enough that you can share it frankly and passionately with outsiders.
Amplifier. Increase the good that happens around you by noticing and noting it to others. Most people can spot what’s wrong and complain about it. An amplifier knows the work around him well enough to spot what’s right, praise the work, and praise the person or people responsible for it. Good news often is so subtle that it needs amplification to be heard. Noticing good work and telling others is a positive influence on any organizational culture.
Router. Internet data is broken into chunks called “packets,” and routers make sure those packets go where they are supposed to go. Similarly, a good communicator makes sure information gets to the right people in a timely manner. Peter Drucker famously said that good communication is about who needs what information and when. Developing the judgment and discernment for routing information correctly and efficiently is a valuable skill set.
Interpreter. As Erwin Raphael McManus put it, “People don’t need more information. They need more insights.” Understand information and how it applies to the people and circumstances around you. Offer context. Offer insights. Provide the links that turn chaos and confusion into order.