The most frustrating thing I was ever told early on in my career was that my personality was my biggest asset. The single most unique, rare and coveted thing about me. The reason I was cherished by and valuable to my team.
My boss said it.
Then my next boss said it.
And some senior buddies of both my bosses said it.
The high energy. The relentless focus. The irrepressible nature of it all.
You may think that’s a compliment. A description worthy of a paperback heroine.
You may think that.
I was livid. I was also incredibly disappointed.
I am smart.
I know things.
I have the work ethic of a thousand men.
I am empathetic and care deeply about people.
And what you value is my energy? Like some new-age séance?
At the time it felt diminishing.
With time, I learned a very important lesson: they were right, I was wrong.
One’s personality is not a small factor. It is the canvas on which everything that makes you ‘you’ plays out, the backdrop against which your other traits unfold. The light setting and volume switch of your engagement with the world. Is it bright and full of rhythm?
It matters because, no matter what else is going on, your personality is always there: it is the context, it is what sets the tone, it is what brings the fire or what erects a barrier.
So I was wrong, they were right, and something that feels so intrinsic and everyday as to be prosaic is so important. Because it’s ubiquitous. Because your personality is always there, like the nose on your face. You can’t see yourself other than through its lens and you can’t see the world other than with its help… it is important exactly because it colours everything.
I am not sure I like it any more now than I did then. But I accept its truth. And I accept the usefulness of realising this truth.
And since we are all about sharing the joy here, I am about to do the same to you.
Because, #mytribe, I know you are all hard-working, passionate, intelligent people. With deep reserves of knowledge in topics weird and wonderful, expertise and inspiration, obscure apocryphal detail, treasure troves of experience… and… and… and.
All those things are hugely valuable.
All those things make you extremely valuable – to the industry, to the organisation, to your team.
And yet. There is one thing that matters more than all others. Something that matters as much as your skill and wit, as much as your deep knowledge and creative mind.
And it’s not glamorous.
And it’s not sexy.
And it’s not in any way what you want to hear.
But there we are. The single most valuable thing you can be is reliable.
Accountability is the only true superpower.
What does that look like?
Doing what you said you would, when you said you would do it by, without needing to be chased or trying to weasel out of your commitment or feigning amnesia or being distracted by something more interesting or more urgent or hoping your colleagues or clients won’t notice that you are not true to your word.
Not playing dumb when it comes to the detail of the things you committed to.
Actually being mindful of the intent of what you are trying to achieve and being proactive in your communication with colleagues or clients if things come up that don’t challenge the plan we agreed to but may affect the outcome.
Doing what you said you will.
Doing what you know is needed of you.
Doing what it takes to be a good colleague, to your team and your client.
Every day. All the time. Towards everyone.
Colleagues. Juniors. Clients.
And doing it in a way that remains alive to shifting circumstances. So that if things come down the pipe that affect your ability to do what you committed or that may affect the wider dialogue, you pick up the phone. You say what you need to say.
And while you say what you need to say, this statement is also implicit: “I made a commitment, not for a task but for an outcome. I made a commitment to you, to take one of the things you worry off your plate and the commitment is not the task so here I am.”
Be someone people can count on.
That’s an everyday, all the time job. It’s an ‘always or it’s not good enough’ trait.
It’s a ‘what kind of person’ you are question.
So it’s the most important thing.
And the only way to do it right, is if it never feels fragile.
If your reliability is the most robust and sturdy thing about you. The thing I take as read. The thing that colours all others. The thing that underpins all others. And the thing without which none of your other good qualities matter.
Because if I can’t trust you, what use is your occasional brilliance to me?
Leda Glyptis is FinTech Futures’ resident thought provocateur – she leads, writes on, lives and breathes transformation and digital disruption.
She is a recovering banker, lapsed academic and long-term resident of the banking ecosystem. She is chief client officer at 10x Future Technologies.
All opinions are her own. You can’t have them – but you are welcome to debate and comment!
Image and article originally from www.fintechfutures.com. Read the original article here.