Two kinds of currency in the workplace.


Carla Harris in her manifesto describes this as: Performance currency and Relationship currency.

Building performance currency is about doing what you are told, with a little extra — at best, doing it efficiently – doing it faster, cheaper and sometimes smarter. Until you become a diva, a linchpin of sorts.

The other — relationship currency is the edge that makes the difference. It’s the almighty leverage and it is sad that the average worker undermines this variable, usually at their own peril.

The way it works is that as long as humans are in the equation of success, there will always be a level of subjectivity in the way interactions that concerns you (and that can promote or demote you) are made. No matter who you are or the quality of work that you do, someone will have to speak for you at some time and in places that you wouldn’t have access to. If someone wants to make a case for you and goes to the table with objective performance data, he will often have to tell it subjectively. And if he doesn’t like you, no matter how good you are, you are screwed.

With performance currency, you will become visible but whether people will then choose to take action at the table for you is a different ball game altogether. And at that point, only the quality of relationships that you have built will pull you through and it is this way, everywhere in the world – people prefer to deal with people they know and trust. And it better be that you have invested in them in some way so that they also can see this as an opportunity to spend their hard-earned relational currency on you.

You get the idea?

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