Like to earn more money? A promotion be nice too? Understood. But for many, just knowing they are making a BIG contribution and are genuinely valued is the most powerful driver. So, how do you get all three? Appreciation, more money, bigger roles? Well, read on for a simple idea that works and will help you. One of the key pillars of whether we have great roles is the answer to this question:“Do I make a valuable and powerful difference?” I mean, what a bummer if we turned up every day and our contribution to our businesses was marginal. Making sure we add real value, consistently, to our roles needs constant reassessment. It needs to become a habit. It is easy to get lost in the trench warfare of what we do every day, lose focus and get stuck in marginal-value activity.
Sure happens to me. Here is one way to build a habit that will protect and maybe even super-charge your career. It actually is very simple. Ask yourself this question regularly, and then deliver hard on the answer, and you can rest assured that you will continue to deliver a valuable and powerful difference.
Here it is: What is the one thing I can focus on and get done today that if I do it really, really well, will bring the most value to this business?
Ask yourself that question, get clear on the answer, and then get cracking on the delivery. And ask yourself that question regularly. And — again — get cracking on delivery. Seriously, it’s a simple as that. I have really taken this to heart in my own role right now, ensuring that I am focused on what brings the biggest value and ROI to the business. It is not easy. It needs constant review.
Here is my Four Point Plan on ensuring you consistently deliver "insane" value. Not sure it works, but I am giving it a red hot go.
- Make a diary appointment with yourself every week for one hour. Call it your "Hour of ROI Power." The return on investment is for your company, for your boss: it’s about how they can get maximum value from YOU in the week ahead.
- In the "Hour of ROI Power," ask yourself these questions:
- Why am I on the pay roll?
- What is the highest value use of my time?
- How can I increase the value of my service to my company today, and for the coming week?
- What can I , and only I do, that, if done well, can make a real difference?
- If it makes sense, check in with your boss, peers and colleagues on what you have concluded. Show them your thinking, why you selected what you selected, and get their input and alignment.
- And then get very focused on delivering to that plan, every day.
After a couple of these sessions, you end up with a very clear road map. Then weekly, use the session to check in on that road map: are you actually spending your time against those priorities?
The key to career longevity and advancement is about doing the really, really important things well. Focus relentlessly on what adds REAL value to your business. Again, it is easy to get lost in the hurly-burly of day-to-day combat. You need to regularly pause, take a bigger view, reflect, realign, get input, sharpen your focus, and re-enter the fray with clarity and precise intent. If you make it a habit to regularly review where you can add the most value and get really good at delivering on that, then you will thrive. This post originally appeared on Wrestling Possums.