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Tag Archives: defining success

Hands holding a tape measure
Image by Myriam Zilles from Pixabay

How do you measure value? Is it in the skills your co-workers bring to the table? The projects you are able to complete? Is it strictly monetary? Different groups of people have different ways of measuring value and success, each with their own unique spectrums and criteria. If you only determine value from one perspective, it may leave you unable to recognize the skills and true value your employees bring to the table. If you find yourself stuck in such a rut, here are some different approaches you may want to consider when measuring value:

1. Engagement

Too often, teams’ leaders don’t take into account the level of engagement a given project will inspire among their team members. When selecting projects or assigning tasks, you may find it helpful to weigh your decisions on a scale of value that places that engagement above other elements. Work that excites your team will create a more efficient and productive flow.

2. Personal

What are your own motivators for doing the kind of work that you do? If you decide to take on work that is uninteresting but lucrative, what do you stand to gain by earning that money? Too often we set aside our own interests and priorities to follow procedure or defer to someone else’s interest. Your time as a professional is valuable and cannot be given back. Take this into account when determining the value of prospective work.

3. Constructive

What does your team stand to gain as a whole from a project? Is there an opportunity to call upon skills someone has been developing, or will there be any kind of collaboration with professionals in a different field or department? Often opportunities are valuable not just in the work they provide but from the skills they allow people to build upon from their undertaking. If you take a step back to measure value in this way, take stock of these big-picture benefits that may otherwise go unseen.

4. Monetary

Of course, some work is more straightforward in value and function. Teams cannot operate without a budget and opportunities must often be weighed against the most important benefit they bring to the company: resources. While money doesn’t need to be a driving measure of value, it should certainly be taken into account.

5. Public Facing

What does taking on a potential project mean for your brand? For the way people view yourself and your fellow employees? Social media and reputation are a valuable commodity in the digital business landscape and must be curated with care. Controversy or the appearance of dubious ethics can impact even the largest businesses. Don’t undervalue this important piece of social currency.

Value is subjective and multifaceted. The more ways you’re able to consider what is valuable in your organization will help put it in a stronger position tomorrow than it is today. Don’t be afraid to sit down and consider all the possibilities!

MARGARET SMITH IS A CAREER COACH, AUTHOR, INSIGHTS® DISCOVERY (AND DEEPER DISCOVERY) LICENSED PRACTITIONER, AND FOUNDER OF UXL. SHE HOSTS WORKSHOPS FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED CAREER OR PERSONAL GUIDANCE. 
NOW LIVE: CHECK OUT MARGARET’S NEW ONLINE LEADERSHIP COURSE.

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Define success in own terms

Most of my work is and has been people-oriented. Professionally, I spent nearly 30 years at 3M, working in various sales leadership positions. Now, I work with a wide range of clients through my career coaching business, UXL. In my personal life, I am involved in my church; I teach spin at the local gym; and I volunteer for several different organizations. Suffice it to say, I’ve met a lot of people through all these different avenues!

Some of the people I’ve met have been very career-oriented, some emphasize family above all else, some prefer spending their free time volunteering in the community and making a difference. Each person has different dreams and goals and different things they consider important. Because of that, how could there possibly be ONE measure of success?

And yet, our culture tends to paint a picture of success with one brush.

We consider a successful American to have a well-paying job, a nice house, a 401K, a loving family. We see wealth and power as the ultimate definitions of success. But that’s not everyone’s definition and shouldn’t be everyone’s definition.

If you define your personal success based on others’ measuring sticks, you’ll be constantly disappointed. What does success mean to YOU? What gives you satisfaction?

The idea of defining your own success really hits home whenever I volunteer at the Peace House, a shelter for troubled women. Many of the residents define success by having the ability to meet their basic needs—having shelter, sufficient food, and love from their families. They strive for independence, a steady income, a job that they enjoy. Some of them aim to get their GED or a certificate in a trade. For them, sales goals, investment portfolios, and owning a yacht are abstract concepts of success. AND THAT’S OKAY.

“But, wait,” you might be thinking, “my definition of success is meeting my sales goals, tucking some money away, and eventually owning a boat!” THAT’S OKAY TOO.

As soon as you figure out what you want out of life, you can work toward it with confidence. Sure, your definition of success may grow and evolve, but it should always reflect your personal ambitions instead of outside pressure to fit into others’ ideas of success.

 

MARGARET SMITH IS A CAREER COACH, AUTHOR, INSIGHTS®DISCOVERY LICENSED PRACTITIONER, FOUNDER OF UXL, AND CO-FOUNDER OF THE TAG TEAM. SHE HOSTS WORKSHOPS FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED CAREER OR PERSONAL GUIDANCE. YOU CAN VISIT HER WEBSITE AT WWW.YOUEXCELNOW.COM

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