Do you feel stuck in a rut at work? Do you wish you could negotiate a raise, or even a promotion, but feel like no one is listening? Maybe it is time to invest in your skillset. With these ten characteristics of a value-driven professional in your tool chest, you’ll finally be able to show how valuable you truly are.
What is a value-driven professional?
Donald Miller’s book Business Made Simple introduces the idea of a value-driven professional. He says that value-driven professionals are obsessed with giving value in their work and in their relationships.
They understand that, in essence, we are all an economic product in the open market. People invest in us every day. Our boss invests in us by giving us a paycheck. Our friends and family invest their time and energy in relationships with us. A value-driven professional understands that it is their responsibility to give these people a return on their investment by giving back as much value as possible.
At work, if you regularly employ these ten characteristics, your actions will begin to prove your worth. In time, you will be able to show how you have transformed the company and added value to your workplace, making future salary negotiations a breeze.
10 Characteristics of Value-Driven Professionals
The best way to become a value-driven professional is by reading Business Made Simple or joining Business Made Simple University so that you can watch the corresponding videos. However, this quick summary will give you a preview of all the value-packed into the book.
The first section outlines ten character traits of a value-driven professional. You can be the smartest, most skilled professional in the world but if you lack character, you, unfortunately, won’t go far.
Strong character provides a sturdy foundation for you as a person and as a professional. However, Donald Miller’s character list goes far beyond the basics of honesty, dependability, and integrity that we’ve grown accustomed to hearing.
He says that those are basic traits that all quality human beings should have. Instead, The “Business Made Simple” character traits include the following characteristics:
- Understand you are an economic product on the open market.
- See yourself as a hero, not a victim.
- De-escalate Drama
- Accept Feedback
- Expect conflict and be willing to engage in conflict.
- Strive to be trusted and respected, more than liked.
- Have a strong bias toward action.
- Be relentlessly optimistic.
- Have a growth mindset.
Once you’ve set a strong foundation by fine-tuning your character, you are ready to jump into the rest of the characteristics and core competencies of a value-driven professional.
The second component of a value-driven professional is leadership. A good leader paints a compelling picture of the future and gives people a clear plan to get there. Everyone on the team should know exactly where the organization is headed at all times.
Good leaders use what Miller calls the “Guiding Principles Package” to point their team toward success:
- Mission Statement: This is a short, interesting, and inspirational statement that tells what the organization hopes to accomplish.
- Key characteristics: The leader should define three key characteristics your company needs to achieve its goal. This helps set clear expectations and ensures that the right people are in the right place to turn the goal into a reality.
- Critical actions: Three actions the team needs to take each day in order to achieve the goal. They should be memorable and measurable.
Since value-driven professionals understand that time is a valuable resource, they make every minute count. Some tools they use are:
- Defining Primary and Secondary Tasks
- Identifying your Daily Big 3
Value-driven professionals also understand the basics of business strategy and how their actions influence their workplace or organization.
In the strategy section, Miller compares running a business to an airplane. He says that you need all the aspects of running a business to be equally balanced and working together for the plane to fly. The metaphorical plane includes marketing, sales, profitability, cash, and overhead.
It wouldn’t be a Donald Miller book if it didn’t address messaging. A value-driven professional knows how to create engaging messaging.
In this section, you’ll find some of Miller’s key teachings about creating a clear message, along with some not-so-well-known tips and tricks.
Even if you are already familiar with StoryBrand, you don’t want to skip this section. There is some new information tucked into the basics that will take you by surprise.
Since a value-driven professional’s goal is to create value for the company where he or she works, successful people know how to market a product well. That means they are familiar with the Marketing Made Simple sales funnel:
- Develop a one-liner
- Wireframe a website
- Create a lead generator
- Create an email campaign
A value-driven professional wants to provide their organization with a great return on their investment. More often than not, this means they need to know how to close a deal. In this section, Donald Miller offers extremely practical sales advice. He tells readers how to:
- Qualify, engage with, and nurture leads.
- Create a winning proposal.
- Close the deal.
We are constantly negotiating. So much so that most of the time we don’t even realize we are doing it. We negotiate salary, schedules, contracts, or even the menu for an event. Yet, less than 10% of professionals have been trained to negotiate well. To successfully negotiate, you need a strategy. Good negotiators:
- Know the difference between collaborative and competitive negotiation.
- Negotiate “below the line”.
- Make a compelling offer.
- Avoid getting emotionally hooked.
A large part of business is working with other people. Therefore, a value-driven professional needs to know how to manage people well. There are a few key techniques that a good manager uses to help their team win:
- Establish clear priorities
- Identify Key Performance Indicators
- Create processes and systems to increase productivity.
- Give constructive feedback.
The final characteristic of a value-driven professional is execution because what good are all the other characteristics if they are never put into action? Donald Miller says, “there is not a single characteristic I value more in a team member than their ability to execute.” If you want to excel at execution, the steps to the Execution Made Simple framework are:
- Hold a launch meeting.
- Have each team member fill out a one-pager.
- Hold weekly speed checks.
- Keep score and measure success.
- Celebrate victories.
Are you a Value-Driven Professional?
If you want to become someone who adds value to your organization or team, “Business Made Simple” is the book for you. After the 60-day journey, you will become the person everyone wants on their team.
Partnering with us is another great way to add value to your organization. Together we can create clear messaging, a beautiful website, and a marketing strategy that gets results. Schedule a call today to speak with one of our StoryBrand Certified Guides.