As an IT professional, what value do you offer your employer?
Irrespective whether you’re an employee buried in the bowels of the organisation, a CEO or working in your own business, ask yourself the question: “What do others say about me when I leave the room?”. You may feel valued in your current role, but is this really the case?
To explore this, consider the following
- Transactional value: In your professional life, if your value to others relies primarily on your technical (eg Engineering, Software programming, Network design) or functional (eg Accounting, marketing, sales) skills, are you able to influence others through means other than what you do?
- Transformational value: If, in addition to your core technical or functional skills, you are able to appreciate the overall context for what you do in your teams, organisation, and industry as a whole, you will most likely be far better places to recognise the potential value for doing things differently. This has the potential, if approached correctly in the context of your organisation, to unleash value that can transform how you and your organisation works. This can lead to innovation and positive disruption in organisations astute enough to seize the opportunities. The potential for positive influences in your career would be obvious, if handled well. A manager who can recognise and articulate this to their staff would be playing the role as business mentor , either consciously, or unconsciously.
- Value leads to influence: If you are able to provide realisable value to your staff, organisation or industry, you will inevitably find yourself with increasing influence. Influence is one of those intangible qualities that is usually attributed to the individual, rather than the role. Those that have benefited from a well run business mentor program will recognise this as the clincher in personal and professional development.
In the military, you salute the uniform, not the individual. Question is: are you just wearing the uniform?