Wall Street rewards growth. Companies that consistently show increases in revenue are more valuable than companies that do not. This is one of the driving principles of business. The greater the growth of the company, the more valuable the firm becomes. Everyone knows, understands, and accepts this fact.
Companies are not shy about publicizing their growth rates; in fact, it is required that publicly traded companies do so on a regular basis. When a company perceives that its stock price is too low, they launch massive communications campaigns that are designed to highlight the value the company brings to its customers. These campaigns talk about the competitive advantage the company possesses. They tout the remarkable qualities that set that company apart from its competition. As an individual dedicated to continuous improvement, you must communicate your growth to your customers and potential customers.
Companies set goals. They devise strategic plans that outline the future of the organization. The best firms constantly think about the future. They make decisions within the context of where the company wants to go, and understand the implications of each decision. Successful companies conduct significant research before they enter into a business relationship – or even have discussions with other firms. These companies are sales powerhouses. They believe in what they have to offer and they build persuasive cases to convince others that their offering is compelling. You should be following these same processes in your career.
In fact, all of the operating principles of successful companies also apply to personal growth. As you grow through the acquisition of skills and knowledge (usually measured by education and experience), your value increases. You should be able to follow all of the principles of successful companies and increase your value, just as a company increases its value. You should manage your career the way a company manages its position in the market.
In many companies, there is no equity between employee compensation and value creation. It is just not practical for firms to pay individual employees in that fashion. Instead, companies look at job classifications and benchmark against the compensation provided by other organizations for that job classification. This is the system that most organizations feel provides the fairest compensation to individuals for their services.
Now comes the true question: Why must those individuals who provide outstanding value be subject to the same (or similar) compensation standards as everyone else? In short, they shouldn’t. Individuals who provide outstanding value can challenge the system and win. Their commitment to continuous improvement – their Career Intensity –helps them catapult themselves beyond the proscribed systems that the corporate world has set for them.
This same philosophy applies to a small business. You must examine your situation and understand what you have to offer. Then you can use these tools to create value for your customers. Finally, you customers must know what value you can provide them. Doing this over and over again is one of the keys to driving success in a career or in a small business.