Added Value: Is Your Leadership Personality Helping Or Hurting Your Business?

Added Value: Is Your Leadership Personality Helping Or Hurting Your Business?

As an entrepreneur, you're often the face of your company, and your ability to capture attention, to fascinate others--clients, employees, strategic partners, influencers--can make or break a business. Every time you communicate, you're doing one of two things:

  1. You're adding value.
  2. You're taking up space.

If you're taking up space, you're in trouble. You're not contributing. You're not building connections--which means you're turning people off.

In my new book, How The World Sees Youi, I give you the steps to add value, instead of taking up space. Once you know what makes you valuable to others, you're more authentic and confident, and more likely to make a positive impression. So ask yourself, are you losing business (or failing to gain new business altogether) because you're just taking up space?

The more value you add, the less you have to compete on price, and the less likely you are to become a commodity. Your personality adds value in a very specific way. There are seven different ways to add value, and communicate so that others want to listen and take action:

Here they are:

  1. If you fascinate with passion, like me, you speak the language of relationship.
  2. If you speak the language of confidence, you use power to lead with authority.
  3. Mystique thinks through decisions carefully and speaks the language of listening.
  4. Innovation will surprise your customers with creativity and bold ideas.
  5. Trust personalities are counted on for their loyalty and stability.
  6. You might use alert, the language of details, if you watch the details carefully.
  7. Prestige continually raises the bar with higher standards and is the language of excellence.

By understanding your personality's advantages, you can shape your entire communication plan around it: everything from your marketing to your email list to your social media.

Here's a little example. If you speak the language of creativity (innovation) you are far more likely to succeed with customers when you brainstorm big ideas for them and think of new ways to do things, than if you tried to follow a one-size-fits-all business model (which would probably feel unnatural to you--almost like drowning in a draining, metaphorical quicksand). Your emails could be eye-catching and even a little irreverent. Instead of following the same way every other business in your industry is doing things, you could break out. You could be heard and remembered. And the customers you want to attract would love you for it.

According to Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel Prize-winning psychologist, "people would rather do business with a person they like and trust rather than someone they don't, even if the likeable person is offering a lower quality product or service at a higher price."

The lesson from this is simple: you add value when you are communicating as your most authentic self. This isn't something you have to learn or change. It's already inside you.

The more value you add, the less you have to compete on price, and the less likely you are to become a commodity. Here's four ways to know if you are adding value to co-workers and clients:

  • You become admired for a noteworthy ability to contribute a specific benefit. Your specific benefit might be deep knowledge, a highly prized skill, special service, or elite network.
  • You're worth more than you're being paid. If you are only worth what you are paid, that's not adding value. That's called doing your job. And the more you're paid, the more difficult it becomes to add value.
  • You deliver more than would normally be expected. You go above and beyond the norm. For instance, adding more value, providing better service, etc.
  • You are the preferred option, even if you are more expensive or less convenient. Your clients want to work with you, even if you have a long waiting list, even if they have to travel far to see you, and even if they pay twice as much as for your competitor.

So are you adding value, or just taking up space? You can add value, and be perceived as intensely valuable. Your business can be more engaging, more attractive, more memorable--without spending more on marketing or overhead.

Sally Hogshead is an international Hall of Fame Speaker and the author of Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation. Her new book How the World Sees You is a complete guide on how to defeat the threat of competition and add value to every communication. She has developed a scientifically-based system of influence, based on the brain's hardwired patterns, and she has taught over 200,000 people how to use their natural strengths to become more persuasive.

Published: September 24th, 2014

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