• Adam Tarnow

Live This Phrase!

Buzz words and phrases when overused are a nuisance. Like an annoying gnat or mosquito buzzing around your head. Most of them need to be swatted away and killed.

Last year gave us plenty of new buzz words and phrases. Pivot. Curated. New Normal. If you want a longer list...here you go. There is, however, one buzz phrase I love. It's become something that guides me, almost every day. It's as close as I've got to a "mission statement" for my life. Because I love this phrase, I want to save it. In fact, I'm thinking about starting a non-profit organization to protect it. Kind of like this lady from Back to the Future. I’d hate to see this phrase swatted to death or fly off into oblivion. This phrase is not new. The first time I distinctly remember hearing a leader use this phrase was over ten years ago. Candidly, it took me four or five years to understand what it meant. Remember, I'm a Clemson grad. I'm not often the smartest guy in the room. However, once I understood what it meant, it changed my life. Dramatic, huh? What's the phrase? Add value. Sure, this phrase can be overused and misused too. Consultants and business development folks love to use the word "value" in all sorts of annoyingly buzzy ways. "The goal is not to price by the hour, but rather to price based on value." "We specialize in value-added services." "We need a more compelling value proposition." It's buzzy, for sure. But it’s buzzy for a reason, it’s true. It's also simple and profound. To "add value" means: to make life better. I believe this phrase can change your life. It is a guiding principle. If embraced, it can make you indispensable to any organization and give you more control of your career. Do you want to always be in the "room where it happens?**" Then make "add value" part of your core identity. Resolve to wake up every day and do one thing: make life better for every person you encounter. How? Care about what others care about. Solve problems no one else is willing to solve. Do the tasks no one else wants to do. Ask the questions no one else is asking. Read the books no one else is reading. Listen to people. Be generous. Live abundantly. Make life better. Add value. Said another way, reject Mark Mason's message. Practice the subtle art of giving a flip. Add value and you will become valued. It’s that simple, really. #Value(d) Keep adding value,


**If I write a book on this topic one day, that’s my working title…How to Always be in the Room Where it Happens: Ten Simple Ways to Become Indispensable to Any Organization and Take Control of Your Career.

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