Recently, I have done several radio and podcast interviews and have had many mentoring conversations. All of this has forced me to think about what I’ve learned and what’s guided me in my career. Identifying what’s worked for you is the first step toward repeating your successes, because it allows you to more deliberately put it into play. As I look back at my experiences in the corporate world, three things stand out for me.
Differentiating myself. When I started my company, I underestimated the importance of truly helping others realize what I brought to the table and how those skills and experience could help them address the high priority issues in front of them. Newberry Executive Solutions has a niche focused on high performing women leaders (although we do a good amount of work with both men and women). Getting to a place where I became really clear about what differentiates me and my company has been vital.
So, before you can tell others what makes you stand out, you have to recognize it in yourself. To get started, answer these questions:
- If someone had to describe you to someone else, what three words or phrases would you want them to say?
- How has each of those three attributes affected your success and results? Identify at least one example for each.
Focusing on value. In my world, value to my corporate clients means providing them with practical, high-impact services and products that accelerate performance and results, in a high pressure work environment. For the individuals that I coach, it’s about helping them realize their potential and achieve what matters to them. This often means helping them really own and leveraging their strengths in a way they haven’t before.
What does providing value look like for you? It may be developing strong teams, or making positive change happen or shaping strategic direction. Once you’ve pinpointed how you like to provide value, what one thing can you do right now to further leverage it? Who could benefit from your skill set?
Investing in relationships. Focusing on cultivating genuine relationships with people outside of my day-to-day areas (i.e., different industries, functions, and levels) has helped me personally and professionally. Looking back to my 20s, I didn’t realize how important this would be. Those relationships helped me successfully navigate through significant career transitions every 3-4 years. And I have also had the opportunity to give back as well, by making connections, sharing information, and providing support.
Before you move on with your day, take a few minutes to think about what has worked for you – whether it was in your last meeting, on your last project, in your last role, or in your current role. You can decide how big or small you’d like to make the scope of your question. The point is to start asking the question more often.