Tag Archives: Students

Small Talk or Small Talks?

Over the last month, I’ve had the privilege to work with a group of big picture executives, an auditorium full of soon-to-be college grads and most recently, a team of highly talented and creative global business developers. Reviewing my notes from these three dramatically different experiences one theme remained constant…


What it is?
How do I create it?
How do I add it?

Generating personal value is central to an executive’s organizational impact, a graduate’s career trajectory and a business developer’s ability to join the strategic conversation. Understanding, generating and implementing personal value can be the difference between being tops in your profession and standing outside looking in.

What is it?

Personal value is the intersection between what organizations want, what individuals want and what you want. 

How do I create it?

Purposefully prepare for your interactions. Don’t depend on your intuition and emotional intelligence to respond to opportunities in the moment. Come prepared to drive the conversation to the intersection of organizational, individual and personal value.

How do I add it?

Armed with an understanding of the value intersection and having prepared to articulate your vision of it, you’ll be ready to abandon small talk in favor of small talks – bite sized bits of an emerging story you’ve created.

To reap the rewards of leadership, executives need to connect organizational success with employee success. To get in the door, job seekers must connect organizational vision with the accolades recruiters will receive for hiring someone as great as you. To gain a seat at the strategic table, business developers must frame project success in terms of individual rewards and organization imperatives.


Value is a BIG question, so over the next few months we’ll return to this subject and drill down on the practical implications of getting it done.

As always, I welcome your feedback and want to thank Decision Clarity consulting executive Charles Bayless and youth leader Urban Stowe for their insightful responses to last week’s blog ‘Did Your Career Choose You?’.