The Monday Mover

Delivering high-impact career tips every Monday morning. 

TMM# 002: Speak the language of leaders

Jun 20, 2022

Before you head into your next 1:1 with your boss, you might want to read this.

In today’s issue, I’m going to show you how to speak the language of leaders.  

To start demonstrating value like a superstar.  

Trust me when I say this: Your ability to demonstrate how your work improves profit margins determines your level of success in your organization, and your career.    

Money talks. The more your work saves money or makes money, the more likely you are to be successful in whatever endeavor you choose.  

Money doesn’t mean other principles and values aren’t important, but all trailheads lead back to it.  

Happy customers  → more sales  → more money

Happy employees → longer retention → more money

Less merchandise defects → less returns → more money

Unfortunately, most people attempt to achieve success by just working hard.  

This mindset leads to resentment and burnout.  

Let’s discuss a much better method to get ahead in your career.  

Start by positioning your work as mission-critical by tying it to key performance indicators.  

To begin you must first understand how your work enables the organization’s larger mission and strategy. If you’re unsure how your day-to-day work makes or saves money, then you need to do some research.  

  • Check your annual performance review and goals (if your company sets these). Most likely there are some good nuggets buried in there about annual goals and how to measure success. 
  • Sleuth on your internal website for your strategic plan, quarterly earnings reports, transformation initiatives, etc. What jumps out at you as most important? 
  • Look at your company’s external website for a landing page that speaks to its mission and vision.
  • Ask your manager directly.

If you are a claim adjuster for a national car insurance company, processing claims accurately and quickly makes customers happy and saves money.  

In this example, you’ve identified how your work supports the business and put it in financial terms.    

This is so important.  

When it comes to success, work performance only accounts for 10%. Therefore, you need to control the narrative around how leaders perceive you (image) and their visibility into your work (exposure).  

You’ve identified how your work supports the business, now measure it.  

Metrics are built right into some jobs and for others, you need to create them.  

Ask yourself:  

  • Do I perform repeatable tasks that I can translate into a number or rate?
  • Maybe you produce monthly reporting and on average it only takes you 3 days, but your colleagues spend a week. 
  • Maybe you process customer orders and rarely have a mistake? Can you translate that into an accuracy rate?
  • Maybe you assembled 15 people together from different parts of your organization to agree on a decision that saved hours of meeting time?
  • Are there any outcomes that I can quantify?  Scope or impact?  
  • Working on an initiative that impacts 250K customers  
  • Print reduction that saved money  

If you’re having a hard time producing metrics for yourself, what kind of tracking system can you implement today so that in 30 days you could have a measure of your success?  

Metrics apply to all industries. All roles. All experience levels. No excuses.  

We just aren’t always good at applying them. Do the heavy lifting now and the dividends will pay off for you later.

This is ok:  

Helped case managers increase their load, so that they could support more members. 

This is better:  

Delivered a 43% increase of total cases managed per person, resulting in increased efficiencies of 44K per manager annually. 

Identify metrics, measure them, and now speak to your accomplishments with data.  

It’s perfect for annual reviews, hallway conversations, and your resume. 


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