Are You Adding Too Much Value?

Smart people are driven by the desire to add value. They try to add value to everything they get involved in. Because they’re smart, they know a lot. Because they know a lot, they feel they can contribute a lot. Believe me, I often fall under this same category.

Naturally, you’d think that being smart makes you a great leader and contributor. Your direct report comes to you with an idea? A great idea indeed! And here’s how it can become even better. Your team has found a clever way to solve a problem? Fantastic! Now here’s how they can implement it in the best way possible.

But does it? There’s a problem with adding value to other people’s ideas. You kill their commitment. You’ve just taken an idea—a decent one in fact—and made it your own. You’ve added 10% value… and destroyed 50% of the other person’s commitment.

Beware the dangers of adding too much value. The best night skies are those where few stars outshine the others.