If you are like most of your colleagues, you tend to spend so much of your time, energy and thought on your technical work and so little time and effort on creating value. There’s a difference between the work you do and the value you create.
Your work is the sum of your technical contributions you produce. It’s got to be right: accurate, timely and efficient. That’s the work. But that’s not the value.
The value is in your ability to make your clients, both internally and externally, believe they made the right choice to engage you to help them. That doesn’t happen in the work you produce. It happens in how you interact with them.
This reminds me of a client who complained that she didn’t like working with a particular professional because he didn’t know what he was doing and he didn’t appreciate the nuances of her situation. She said she preferred to work with another person in the firm who knew more. What she didn’t know was that the one who “didn’t know as much” was the reviewer of the work her preferred professional produced. WHAT!?
Superior technical knowledge isn’t enough to overcome your inability to add value. It’s obviously important, but not most important. And the things you often minimize is where value is created. When you take the time to listen to them, understand them, know what’s important to them, and explain what you did for them, you add value. The relief, assurance, and confidence you generate is what your clients value.
If you don’t pay attention to any Monday message, please pay attention to this one. If you do, you will always be sought out and you will always be in demand by your clients, both internally and externally.