This is the third post in a series of five about creating your personal value proposition (PVP)—your unique skill set and integral component of your personal brand.
Do you hate math? Are you emails riddled with spelling mistakes? Does writing even a short letter take you hours? Do you break out in a cold sweat when facing an Excel spreadsheet or new software program? Or, are you like me and have horrible grammar albeit are a great story teller?
The point is, most people know what they are terrible at. “Wait Beate,” you say, “I thought my PVP was supposed to build on my skills. Why are you focusing on my shortcomings?” Let’s recap. The first step in building your personal value proposition is to identify what comes easily to you. The second step is to communicate why this is a good thing for the team and how to use it to your advantage.
This third step is how to build your influence based on your strengths by showcasing your super skill. That means you have to know what you are not good at, and here is an example of why…
When I was running my photography licensing business, one day Sharona, my Controller, waltzed into my office and LOCKED the door. She threw a stack of papers in front of me and then crossed her arms and waited.
Oops, this did not look good. What had I done? I looked at the papers and five minutes later my entire business strategy changed,which lead me to put one division on steroids. And wouldn’t you know, that rapidly-growing division was the reason we were acquired by a Bill Gates company two years later.
What happened? Sharona had sliced and diced our numbers in a way that only she can. She dazzled me with her super skill when she figured out which product line could be our runaway hit. Not an easy task when you consider that we licensed in 76 countries and she was managing around 40 reseller contracts and thousands of images.
When I hired Sharona, I knew I needed someone who could provide me with better numbers but I wasn’t clear about what that looked like in detail. I can set up operational systems, just not financial ones. Her references indicated she had a certain flair for bookkeeping, so I brought her on and let her loose. There is no way I could have dissected the numbers like Sharona did.
Sharona made sure I noticed her super skill, demonstrated that she was the very best, and therefore became irreplaceable. Now, back to you. Being good and being great are two different things. Just because you can do it doesn’t mean it is the equivalent of super skill. With a good PVP, you are the undisputed logical choice and the very best at what you do. What is your super skill and how can you sprinkle it throughout your work products?
Explore: What areas do you stand out in? Think about organizing, planning, executing, breaking things down, translating concepts into action, time management, people management, follow-up, etc.
The more narrowly and clearly-defined your super skill set—the better. You advertise your super skill generously and fearlessly; this is the uniqueness employers are dying to know about. Tasks that showcase your brilliance are the ones you pursue with a vengeance. You want everyone in your company to know that you are the go-to person for this one super skill. Your company or project cannot survive without your super skill because you are the best—you become an irreplaceable asset and your influence expands.
As for the other tasks that come along with the project, I want you to find strategic partners with super skills in that area or hire someone with a super skill to your weakness—which is why we must be able to communicate our shortcomings and our strengths.
This third step can be tricky so please let me know if you have questions how to dazzle with your super skill.
In the next post, I will reveal the fourth step for creating your personal value proposition.