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For a while now I've wanted to write a blog post on the difference between going viral and adding value. I recently had a discussion with an individual in my company’s upper management involving this subject. My statement to him went something like this:
"I see a lot of that in this company, especially among the directors and VPs. I don't know all of them, but from the angle I'm looking at it's almost as though they're all trying to trump one another. Who can get their next 15 minutes of fame? Who can outdo the previous person? And instead of focusing on adding value to their workforce, they are trying to look good in front of one another and earn themselves bonuses."
My superior agreed. He nodded his head and said, "There seems to be a lot of throwing spaghetti at the ceiling and seeing which strands will stick. And a lot of them aren't sticking right now."
The company I work for employs over 25,000 people, and hires more every week. However, we are in such a dire state, needing to change and grow, because we've been stagnant for so long. There is suddenly a mad scramble to catch up from years of being closed-minded and not forward thinking—years of using the same old technology and working with software companies to provide custom coding to suit our needs. We still have over half of our workforce on Windows 7, which Microsoft will stop supporting early next year.
In making this huge leap in process changes and technology implementation, our leaders are scrambling to "go viral." They are not seeking as much to add value to anyone's lives. Instead, they are over-committing and volunteering themselves for things they know they can't uphold. By delegating those things to their workforce (a workforce that often runs without their input and has its own commitments to uphold) we all end up stressed out and unhappy with each other.
To make matters worse, they are pushing the elder generations out of the work force. While I can see the positive side to this as it diminishes a lot of the “old school” mentality, it’s also diminishing our greatest knowledge sources. So while we are building a younger, more open-minded, inclusive and diverse workforce, we are also faced with passing down/absorbing as much knowledge from our elders as possible.
But this is just the corporate world. What if you work for yourself? Work from home? Run your own small business? The secret to success; the secret to a harmonious work environment; the secret to happy employees lies in adding value wherever you can.
How does "adding value" apply to my writing career?
When I look at my old blog, my posts on VOCAL, and my fiction writing, I don't want to be one of those people who's just trying to go viral. I want my writing to mean something. I want to add value to the lives of others. However, I realized that by pushing myself to write engaging content every day, some posts are not always up to par.
So when it comes to adding value, it's OK to take your time. In today's fast paced society of instant gratification and a "sleep when you're dead" mentality, it's easy to get caught up in the great rat race. Don't! Keep focus on your goals. Stop comparing your journey to others'. Take your time to create something meaningful then let it go into the world.
What does "adding value" mean to you?
Going forward, I encourage you to consider what “adding value” means to you. How can you serve others by following your dreams and doing something that you’re passionate about?