The month of August is all about adding value and mastering this critical, yet simple, concept. The reality is that adding value is the driver of executive success. If we want to have success, then we must add value. It’s cause and effect. If we understand that relationship, then what prevents someone from creating success? Fear.
Fear is the most common reason why leaders do not add value in their executive roles and therefore why they do not succeed.
Now I get it, you’re probably saying, Katrina, if we are meant to add value as a means of not only being successful, but minimally, maintaining our position in the organization, why would someone NOT add value?
It’s sort of like saying, why don’t people save their marriages? Why don’t people save money? Why don’t people make good decisions?
It’s not because they intentionally decide they don’t want to do these things, it’s because their desires and their actions aren’t aligned.
Someone must take the right actions if they want to have career success, a successful marriage, money in the bank, etc.
The primary driver preventing these actions from occurring is fear.
Where does the fear come from?
As a first-year exec, fear comes from the step growth curve you must navigate in order to perform in the role combined with needing to generate results and an uncertainty of how to do that.
Does that make sense?
It’s hard to feel like you must learn how to be successful and do it quickly before you tank your career.
Combine this with the fact that most new execs are so used to generating results quickly and almost effortlessly that the inability to do that in the executive role has them thrown for a loop.
This situation is ripe with fear.
In any new role, we need security. We need to feel like we are safe to grow and learn and we need to feel like we are still making a difference while we’re doing it.
How do the majority of first-year execs do that?
They fall back on what they know.
Fear drives them into performing tasks and displaying behaviors that may have served them well prior to the exec role, but will not add value in their current environment.
Yet there is this rationalization that if “I keep doing what I have always done while I’m learning what to do next, the company will appreciate it and I will be safe.”
Is that the case?
What the organization values vs. what makes you feel valuable are two different aspects.
No matter the situation, we must always go with what the organization values if we are going to be successful in our roles.
This week I’m challenging you to do another gut check. Look at the actions you are taking. Are they valuable to the organization, do they make you feel valuable, or both?
If you want to talk through it and validate some of your actions, schedule some time on my calendar, and let’s do a quick assessment together.