Value Card Versus Business Card?

Accountability Contribution Personal leadership


Key Point: As we learn more about real contribution, it is very important to focus less on your job title and contact information on your business card. Instead, demonstrate the “actual value” you’re able to provide employers. Who really cares what the title on a business card is these days? And with digital identity, many people don’t really care about business cards at all. At the same time, I do believe, words like “president,” “director,” “manager,” “partner,” “Dr.,” etc. carry some introductory weight. But as we determine the benefit of a relationship with others, proof and evidence of “value provided” is what really counts.

It is really interesting to be back interviewing for a job after eight years of being a CEO of an international, privately held, profitable company.  I am, by business card criteria, very accomplished. I have CEO and president in my title, three times. COO once, and VP three times. I also have the titles of “founder” and “partner.” I might as well have the title of “Supreme Intergalactic Commander.” The reality is that people who are interviewing me only care a little about those titles. However, they are laser fixed on my ability to demonstrate how I solved problems and achieved results. And they are very sophisticated in separating wheat from chaff.

 Character Move:

  1.  Wherever you are in your career/ job, document problems solved and results achieved. Do it as you go, not after you have left.
  2. Develop a “value offered card” more than a “business title card.” Be great at a few things… Benchmark to be the very best. Practice, practice, practice, and ten years later, few will have your results and skill. This will hopefully allow you to monetize the equity you have built in yourself. (Think ahead… Is anyone going to care about what core skills you currently have a few years from now?)
  3. Most of us are NOT great at everything. Be honest about areas that are not strengths. However, let’s commit to being THE best at what we’re good at and like to do.
  4. Someone out there likely needs what you are good at and like to do. That value, in the western capitalistic society we live in, usually is expressed in monetary terms. For example, the value we bring to the largest group who needs/wants what we have to offer, usually results in the biggest monetary pay out.
  5. Build a value card more than a business card.

Value card in the Triangle,

– Lorne