The “IT Factor”: A Leader’s Real Job Security!

Val Williams June 26, 2012 0
The “IT Factor”: A Leader’s Real Job Security!

There’s a myth out there, even with Senior Executive leaders, that if you just produce results and hit your objectives; that will be enough.  So you keep working harder and harder.  Your goal becomes to produce more results more quickly.  You say, “If only I can make more sales, have my team complete more projects earlier, answer more of these emails, then I’ll continue to be successful.”  When leaders follow this “more, better and faster” strategy they’re often surprised that instead of achieving confidence in their success, they feel more burned out and more insecure.  They worry a lot about their job security; they fear being replaced.  When you employ this strategy of “do more, faster” over the long-term, then you actually become more reactive, less strategic and, frankly, more replaceable.

It’s easy to understand how this happens. A few months ago I was at Starbuck’s over a very long cup of coffee, talking with a colleague about typical corporate culture. We were noticing that in the past, when we ourselves were corporate Executive leaders, we too were trained that it’s all about the results. But this perspective can sometimes lead to seeing people as commodities.  My colleague said it well: In corporations, without thinking about it, we can often treat people as if “the doing has value but the doer (the person) does not.” This applies to many Senior Executives themselves.  You can be at Vice President level; and still feel like you are easily replaced; that your role could be eliminated any day – that you’re just another cog in the machinery.

But, the idea that the doer is interchangeable is actually not true… unless you buy into it.  The doer (the person, the executive) has unique experiences, unique ways of contributing, and a unique viewpoint that sets him or her apart.  This uniqueness is your It Factor. Your It Factor is your presence, the specific way that you carry yourself; the specific impact that you have on people when you walk into the room. This It Factor is the space where your personal innovation and creativity spring from. The It Factor is the place from which you become inspirational and create followership as a leader. Some people may call it charisma, but you don’t’ have to be overly charismatic to possess the It Factor. It’s this intangible It Factor that is the thing that makes you – you.

If you focus on your It Factor, then you become irreplaceable.

Look at it this way – the It Factor is what you bring to a task that makes the outcome different than someone else doing the same task.  It’s the extra value you bring if you bring your whole self to the job.  It makes the difference between doing something ordinary and creating something spectacular.

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