"Adding value". A commonly used term used by people in business. You hear about it from vendors, organizations, products and services, and in employee performance conversations and sales pitch meetings. Adding value: the value added benefit this person/thing brings to the table. If you look up the definition, you'll get a bunch of finessed words, which to me all point to one simple thing - how do you make the "thing" that your contributing to...better? How do you make it shine? How do you make an extra special difference?
An invitation for 2012 (if you so choose) is to put an extra fine lens this year on adding value to the services and offerings you provide...and to really look at what that truly means for you. To "add value" - that's an amazing thing. It's special. It makes someone's life better. An outcome better. An organization better. A team better. It makes something better. Making an organization better to work for/with, making a product better for people, making a team better and happier just by the way you lead, making your relationships more connected and collaborative and...special. That is an honor. That is special.
Ready to play? Step into the question for yourself: What does it mean to add value? How do I want to do it? What is most meaningful? How do the people around me want/need me to "add value"? (Note: feel free to use "add value" or "make it better/stellar/wowzicle" as it resonates.)
And more specific questions - with one in particular you likely have not thought about...What is it to "add value" to your organization? To make it better. What is it to add value to your culture? What is it to add value to that project you're working on or that person you're working with? To your employee perks? To your client relationships? To your family? And to yourself? Yes, to yourself. Because while adding value is super important, and never a thing to be taken for granted - a promise (kept) of adding value for yourself is just as important.
For 2012, what is the value you want to add for yourself? Add it. Get specific. Make it better. Make it good. Dream a little dream and then realize it's closer than you think. That personal "value added" will only amplify your ability to add extra value to all the people, businesses, relationships, products, clients, and more. You must add value for yourself if you are to be able to add great value for others. Go for it.