Don’t compete with your peers – create new value for the people you serve. That’s the secret to making a bigger impact and your job and career.
Envisioning these two potential career tracks – competing versus creating – as lower and higher planes of existence is was real eye-opener for me. And I think it will be for you, too. I discovered this idea in Bob Proctor‘s book, You Were Born Rich, and it really resonated with me. So I created an infographic that really drives the point home.
What happens when you compete with your peers
When you’re competing with your peers, you’re stuck in a zero-sum existence – if someone else gets more, you get less. You’re constantly competing for limited resources – salary allocations, budgets and sexy projects. Of course, in recent years, there are less of all of those valuable assets to go around.
If you’re competing, your employer has the opportunity to treat you as an interchangeable cog in their giant machinery. It’s a low-value existence, and in times of economic uncertainty, it’s not a very stable one.
Seth Godin, author of the amazing book Linchpin, draws a stark comparison between competers and creators – and points out which type of person is likely to survive and thrive in periods of change and uncertainty like we’re currently experiencing:
“The cause of the suffering is the desire of organizations to turn employees into replaceable cogs in a vast machine. The easier people are to replace, the less they need to be paid. And so far, workers have been complicit in this commoditization. This is your opportunity. The indispensable employee brings humanity and connection and art to her organization. She is the key player, the one who’s difficult to live without, the person you can build something around.”
Become a creator
You can be a linchpin – if you want to. Godin points out that you don’t need additional training to become one, but rather a change in attitude. You can train yourself to matter in your work. But first you must make a commitment to adding value, to creating new ideas. That’s your new career path.
Creating puts you on a new, higher plane where you can add significantly more value. By contributing more, you become worth more. You’ll also become more stable in your your position and more likely to be promoted. No employer wants to lose a creative, indispensable worker who is a finder of new opportunities, solver of problems and an engine of new value.
The choice is completely yours: Will you compete or create?