Building long term value is a topic that can not be quickly covered. I have been reading about this topic for several years, and I still feel like I am a total amateur. Even though I am an amateur in this field, I recently had a long conversation with someone that was, more or less, starting out in his career. The more we spoke the more the thoughts and ideas started to flow.
I can not take credit for any new insights in to this area. These are just couple of thoughts and regurgitated learning from the past several years. I give the professional writers and management gurus their all due respect, for they have taught me much about life and how to be successful.
I have always told my staff that our goal is to be come critically valuable to a company. In the past, my team would often ear me going on and on about one of my favorite phrases.
“We must get our claws so deep into our clients, that it is incredibly painful for them to be extracted.”
This roughly translates to the idea that I want to be considered so valuable that a client (or employer) would not even image replacing me or my team. I want all aspects of the company to become reliant on the services that we provide. That is not to say that we to do not train and empower people to become self-sufficient. Trust me, I have been there and done that…it is no fun.
I want the company to be able to count on us to get a job done no matter what the odds that must be overcome. I want my team to go the extra mile every single time. We always over deliver, and when we have a problem, we are the first to identify it, accept responsibility (regardless of who/what is at fault), and develop the plan to solve the issue. I want the company to see us way more then just “IT”. Our goal is become integrated into every department and as many aspects of the business has possible.
We listen, anticipate needs, and come up with good solutions on short notice. We can not be prepared for everything that will come our way, but how long it takes us to respond to a new challenge goes a very long way in peoples mindset. We strive to always manage client expectations and come out slightly on top.
I do not have an issue with keeping what we do a bit of a secret. I want accountants to be accountants…not spending time trying to understanding how to deploy a Storage Area Network. We are happy to train staff on how to use the systems provided, but I do prefer that IT is a bit of a mystery to them. I liken it to a car, most people know how to drive one, but a relative few understand how to build or fix it when they have problems.
Ultimately, I want our team to be considered vitally needed. We do what it takes to drive that message into our clients’ minds by delivering on what they never thought we could, and by helping them achieve their highest priorities. Many times, this is done by just making their jobs a little easier. The value of that little effort goes such a long way.
I would challenge every single person to think about the concept of their long-term value and look at how valuable they really are to their organization. What could you do to make yourself more valuable and get your claws in just a little deeper?