It’s Halloween and that means costumes, candy and spooky things. Which got me thinking, that sounds a lot like the concept of “value.” Now, you may be asking, “what in Hellraiser’s name are you talking about Al?” Bear with me for a moment and allow me to indulge you in some treats with real impact.
Costumes: Are we hiding our value behind a mask?
Value is our calling card in life. It is our DNA and the imprint we leave behind because our value is truly defined by our impact. All too often we approach our personal and professional lives based on what we DO. But does anyone care what we DO? Or do they care about the IMPACT of what we do? After more than 3 decades of working with, around and for people and organizations “doing” a lot of stuff, I have realized that most struggle to understand and be able to share their impact. We are masking our value behind resumes and business cards which communicate titles. We mask the value of our high-school and college students with metrics and numbers scoring the bi-product of doing a project, doing a test, etc. Yet, we then ask them to go out and make an impact.
When we turn the lens of our value to our impact and authentically peel back the layers, we begin to shed our mask and reveal deeper, more meaningful purpose and outcomes.
Candy: Knowing your value is as fun and cool as candy
If you have awakened the desire to more deeply understand and think through your impact and can communicate it, you open an entire landscape of opportunity personally and professionally. Value makes us feel special. When we feel valued, we are happier, feel pride, and think more positive. Who doesn’t want that? Unlike candy, we need to and should have value in our lives every day. Without a clear understanding of it, we can wander, make poor choices and potentially live a less enriched life. Knowing our value and the value of those around us also provides alignment because it is not a one-way street. It requires an exchange. This sharing gives us reflective feedback to help us grow. Pretty sweet huh?
Spooky Things: What if we’re not sure of our value?
There’s an expression, “Beware of waking the sleeping giant.” This can be a positive and negative. If you begin to realize you’re not sure of, or doubt your value, that can be scary. It can be a rude awakening and create a purpose vacuum. Put another way, don’t ask a question you don’t want to know the answer to. On the other hand, awareness and authentically communicating our value can create giant new opportunities. Regardless, can we really afford to be afraid to ignore our value? Can we continue to hide our impact behind a mask and trick ourselves into thinking our impact doesn’t matter? Or should we treat ourselves to our own potential and unlock that which defines us and share it with the world?
Tips and Treats
Just as Halloween signals the coming of fall, so it provides a chance to plant some seeds for the next new harvest. So here are 2 tips to better connect to and communicate your value:
When you wake up in the morning, before the day spins out of control, write down one-word which most clearly defines the value you will bring to the day and the impact you will have. Write it on something which stands out and won’t be easily forgotten or discarded. Maybe even email and text it to yourself. Share it as well with someone you trust and care about. Before you go to bed or when you’re relaxing for the evening, return to that word and see if it held up. Think about how that word applied to the day. Where did it show up? Discuss it with the person with whom you shared it. Half of understanding our value is keeping it in front of us. What better a start to the day then setting the tone for our own impact.
Choose a project or meeting you’re working on. Write down one-word which most clearly defines the value the meeting or project will provide for you and the impact it will have. Write it on something which stands out and won’t be easily forgotten or discarded. Take a day or so and revisit the word. Document if the word held up. Was the meeting valuable to you as you thought it was? Is the project providing you value? We waste so much time at work in meetings and needless projects, here’s a way to start evaluating our time and value. If appropriate, share what you learned with the leader of the meeting of project or another team member.
So, here’s my challenge. Start asking yourself about your impact and thinking of your value. Share this with others and use it to grow personally and professionally. That way, next October 31 when someone knocks on your door with a trick, you can give them a valuable treat.
Al is the founder of ValueMapping™ and has been a passionate brand enthusiast and consultant for over two decades. Everything Al writes is designed to help others reach their potential and become wildly happy. Contact him directly via firstname.lastname@example.org or check out www.valuemapping.com