“Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.” ― Albert Einstein
I really love the above quote from Einstein. In two simple sentences, he covers a lot of ground. His words help push my own thinking on the differences between success and value. When it comes to your work, what percentage of your time is focused on winning and having your project be a success? Is it more or less than 50 percent? Take a minute to think about your answer. Now here’s your follow-up question. Do you prioritize success over value and if so, what may you be missing as a result?
Einstein’s quote reminds me to press pause on my notion to drive for success and instead think of how my work helps to bring value to others. How we understand and perceive the differences matters to how we deliver on our individual goals. When you hear of success, recognition tends to follow. While our reputations are built on successful outcomes if we’re not careful, success can inflate our egos and instead of doing the right thing for the right reason individuals may seek out success for their own self-interest. Bringing value puts people first and addressing their needs second.
When I focus on my strengths and bringing value to my work, I’m thinking about people and outcomes. I’m building relationships, looking at the bigger picture and trying to positively influence others. Earlier in my career, I focused on delivering successful outcomes. Now I can see that was short sighted. Success will follow when you bring value.
A resume can provide an overview of your successes and yes, you want to list them, but Einstein’s words remind us that the value we bring is in our work.
Here are four simple ways you can bring value:
- Always consider the perspective of others
- Ask individuals what they need and deliver on it
- Benchmark your work and look at trends overtime
- Keep track of your journey