I have seen this picture floating around LinkedIn for the past few months and it sounds good. It makes me feel all warm inside, but I don’t agree with it. I would like to agree but I take a contrarian view. Isn’t value derived on what others view something is worth?
Merriam-Webster defines value in several ways:
value noun | val·ue
1. The monetary worth of something – Market Price
2. Relative worth, utility, or importance
a) good value at the price
b) the value of base stealing in baseball
c) had nothing of value to say
A friend is trying to sell his used SUV for $7,000 (his perceived value). It’s been on the market for a few months and has had two bites. The first person came and quickly left. The next person offered $5,000. Doesn’t the value decrease if no one is willing to spend $7,000?
If a bag of chips is being sold for $5 and nobody buys it, is it worth $5? Eventually the company will reduce the price causing its value to decrease. The market, or consumers, did not feel that bag of chips was worth – or carried enough value – for that price. However, at $3.50, there is value.
While these two examples are financial, Merriam-Webster looks at non-financial value in examples 2b and 2c. If I provide input to my boss about a new project and he doesn’t like it, then I didn’t bring enough value to him/her? If every time I raise my hand and am overlooked, my worth is reduced. On the contrary, if he listens to my ideas and takes my suggestions, doesn’t he/she perceive value, or worth, in what I offered?
The picture floating around LinkedIn puts the onus of responsibility on the other person and not on our self to demonstrate our worth. If someone doesn’t see my worth, then I haven’t done a good job establishing it.
The questions I ask are:
How can I demonstrate my worth?
What did I do to reduce my value in this situation?
What could I do to increase my value next time?
Of course, I also think All Kids Do Not Deserve a Trophy.
Something to think about…