What’s your value to your organization?

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2005
Leaders, whether they realize it or not (and I submit that they do) classify people into five groups, based on their impact on the organization. At least that's what John Maxwell says in his book, The 21 Immutable Laws of Leadership. Though I must admit that I've never thought about these groups as clearly defined, I agree with Maxwell's classification of the type of value that people bring to their organization:

Potential Value - those who raise up themselves
Every leader must have ability to lead and motivate himself. Many of the readers of my blog are familiar with the GTD methodology, if so, they are likely to be in this group. (Not that the GTD methodology is the only way to raise yourself up - it's not - but that if you are working to improve your personal effectiveness you are demonstrating your motivation and drive.)

Positive Value - those who raise morale in the organization
We all know of people who can brighten up a room ... by leaving it. These are not the folks in this second group. People who can encourage and inspire others are invaluable in any organization

Personal Value - those who raise up the leader
Leaders seek for their inner circle people who help them improve. Are you one of those people? Do you look for ways to build up your leader?

Production Value - those who raise up others
Leaders focus on building leaders and they know that there's no other way to accomplish exponential leadership growth in their organization than to select leaders who raise up other leaders.

Proven Value - Those who raise up people who raise up other people
This is the most elusive group for most of us, but membership in this group extreme signifies accomplishment in each of the preceding four groups. You can't nominate yourself for membership, nor can the leaders you've raised up. Only their progeny can do that, and then, only by their actions.

Consider the people around you; which group do they fall into? Which groups are you a member of?

Here's an exercise for you: take a sheet of paper and draw a pie chart; let each slice represent one of the groups above. Make the size of each slice represent your value in each of the five areas above. What does it look like? Are the slices of even size, indicating balance and value across all aspects? Or, are some slices extra-thin, indicating areas in which you can improve? If your pie chart is balanced, don't pat yourself on the back just yet - how big is it? You may be balanced but not contributing as much value as you possibly could.

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