Hello SOTGC community,
This post is inspired by a book I’m currently reading: Reality Based Rules of the Workplace – By Cy Wakeman. This book is about increasing the value you bring to your organization and I’m using it as a personal development tool. Though it focuses on corporate structures, I think its underlying theme can be applied to all aspects of your life (be it corporate life, personal interactions, or as an entrepreneur).
The book was referred to me by someone in our company who I had called him to ask what I needed to improve to make myself more relatable to my co-workers. I’ve always been known as “that person everyone wants to have on their team, because they know I can help them win. But that very few people want to work WITH, and even fewer people want to have to take on the task of being my manager.” I’ve always been a “challenger rep.” I’m such a passionate and intense person I come across in both positive and negative extremes, and if I didn’t agree with something I was asked to do…I balked…and I balked LOUDLY and with great visibility.
The enlightening thing for me was that when we were talking about what I needed to work on he said “You know Marney. I don’t think it has to do with a lack of emotional intelligence…so I’m not sure why you don’t filter as much as you need to…” I thought for a second and then, since I both trust and respect him, I said “you know…it’s because I could get away with it.”
But that needed to change if I wanted to be viewed and openly acknowledged as the leader I wanted to become.
This book has a very simple equation that gives your organizational value. And when I took the test…boy…was I DEEP into the red. I also realized that this doesn’t just give the value I bring to a corporation, this is probably the same value I have in social situations, as well as any future I have for a successful entrepreneur venture and as a role model. Boy did this equation show me that I have some serious work to do…and the first part…is growing the hell up.
Your Value = Current Performance + Future Potential – 3X Emotional Expensiveness
Emotional expensiveness, if you’re wondering what that is let me summarize for you; and if you’ve been stagnating in your career despite the fact that it’s widely recognized that you’re extremely talented and intelligent, you might realize that you too are pretty darn emotionally expensive…and notice that they multiply that by THREE.
Emotional expensiveness: how much do you fight initiatives that you don’t agree with? How much extra attention and concessions need to be made for you either because you’re a Prima Dona or because you’re just downright contrary? How often do you jump in and help someone who is struggling…or do you instead point out that they’re dead weight and talk constantly about how they’re holding the team back? And most importantly…how much to do go around telling others about your problems and do you play the victim or martyr role?
Any of this hitting home for you? Because when I read the parameters of what this “expensiveness” is…I was SHOCKED that I have been able to attain the level of success I have…because it turns out….I’m like the Christian Dior of “Emotional Expensiveness.”
So what does one do about it? Well…I enlisted help from my mentors to set goals on how I can increase my future potential and current performance and greatly decrease my expensiveness. Then I called someone who is VERY similar to me, but who has done an amazing job in tempering his passion and is now a successful manager. Based on what he told me worked for him, I reached out to another person who is OPPOSITE me in how he communicates and who is not only very well liked, but has also had extreme success at our company. I asked him to mentor me in my efforts to reduce my expensiveness and to allow me to run phrasing by him before I send out an email or run a call. I also asked him to be very honest about communication he sees or hears from me that he thinks could have been better received if I had tweaked some things.
I spent a long, self-reflective weekend after I started reading this book on figuring out how I could increase my value…without editing myself into oblivion. One of the things that DOES make me extremely successful and unique is that I AM SO different. So how do I mine out all the positive aspects of that, but communicate in such a manner that I’m effective, well received, and more valuable?
So welcome to my journey…which will be long…probably embarrassing and painful…but that probably many of you share and hopefully can learn from and give me feedback and pointers along the way. Personal growth is never comfortable…but as this book so aptly puts it: “If you want to move forward to a compelling vision for your future, you need to start from a place of pain.”
If this post resonates with you and are starting or on this journey…join me at the SOTGC Facebook page and “Like” us there. I give daily updates, quotes/lessons of the day…and add a good amount of humor into it:-)