Moving up the Value Curve

A mentor, and family friend, of mine made a great point to me years ago. He explained that people are valued (e.g. job security) and compensated based on the value that they offer their organization (that part should be obvious), and a common way to increase the value you deliver is to manage/oversee increasingly important parts of the organization.

He explained that people often start their careers managing things (e.g. technology, machines, clothes on a retail floor). To become more valuable to your employer, you should look to manage people (e.g. overseeing, supervising, leading), and then manage money (e.g. budgets, purchase/investment decisions, a profit & loss center).

If you want to increase your value, you want to be moving toward a role where you’re leading/influencing a large number of people (every organization is different — maybe that’s a Product Manager in your organization, or a second-line supervisor) and/or overseeing a large budget/revenue area, such as a P&L Owner (Operations Division Director), etc.

Update: An interesting point a colleague recently mentioned to me, after seeing this post, was thinking about how innovation/disruption fits into this.  People who make improvements into process and/or innovation (e.g. improving how an organization delivers service, or improving an internal process to increase efficiency) is another way you can increase the amount of value you create, which is a great point!

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