What if your customers spoke about you the same way they talk about players in the NFL draft, or whether injuries to NBA players will jeopardize the team’s run to the finals? Someone of worth who is a necessity to their daily and long-term strategy.
Do you ever feel like you are part of your clients’ “teams”? Or perhaps the better question to ask yourself is whether you present yourself as a strategic team member, rather than a “seller” or a “do-er / order-taker.”
There’s a lot of talk about whether or not we create “value” for our customers and our colleagues. And it sounds a lot like the “quality” discussion – whether some thing has quality or not. These are nouns in search of descriptors. These words don’t have significance unless they are modified and translated. Until they are placed within the context of a situation. Your customer’s situation, for example.
In order to be relevant to your customer’s team, you have to possess the qualities or attributes which make you essential to their being able to implement or execute some strategy or “play” that is essential to their longevity in the marketplace. Your customers and colleagues feel you are a critical factor in their success. They need to run their plays through you in order to be effective and competitive.
Taken in this context, if you are just selling or doing and handing off your work to the next person in line, you may be falling short of the type of player your customers need you to be.
You are in charge of the business of being YOU. You are your own player’s agent. Not your company’s. Not your clients’. Yes, of course once you become a key player on their team, it’s amazing how quickly you gain recognition. However, it’s not about what they think about you. It’s about creating a culture, for yourself, of discipline and alignment so that you are always focusing back on being in charge of the business of being YOU.
Let’s face it. There are times during playoffs where the team seems to be in auto-pilot. Like, who needs the coach anyway? It’s because each player is disciplined. They are aligned with the capabilities, input-throughput-output of the other players. We sometimes refer to how this appears to the spectator as “being in the zone.” These players are so tuned-in to the subtle dynamics of the playing field that they are able to adapt and make adjustments that make them the proverbial game-changer.
Create and maintain this type of relevance to your colleagues, your company and your customers. Take a look at the disciplined processes you need to adopt and the strategies you need to adapt in order to align yourself with the constantly changing competitive playing field. It’s a matter of taking stock of everything you currently bring to their tables, anyway. For many of us, it’s right there and always has been.
When you are called on, this week, come into the playing field as a strategist who understands the breadth and depth of your role. Even if you are a process specialist. Even if you are an order-taker. Understand where your input-throughput-output exerts a relevant impact. On the team. On the business of being YOU.