The Value-Added Life
Living the Unique Positive Experience Principle
by Greg Langston

There has been a tremendous renewal of focus on retaining key employees in the media lately. Businesses have been struggling to handle rising turnover costs and are seeking to keep the best and the brightest. But how can you make sure that you are among the best and brightest? How can you excel in your job? Beyond that, how can you add value to your relationships with your family, friends, and Mentors?

The Unique Positive Experience Principle

The key to succeeding in all areas of your life is to add value. Whether it is your relationship with your supervisor, spouse, friend, or mentor, constantly providing a Unique Positive Experience is the fuel that keeps the whole process running. The Unique Positive Experience Principle is about providing those around you with a valuable positive experience. As a result, by living the Unique Positive Experience Principle, personal and professional success will be yours.

How can you live the Unique Positive Experience life?

The Unique Positive Experience is achieved in three steps: 1. Self Discovery, 2. Follow the High Potential Essentials™, and 3. Constantly Add Value

Step One: Self Discovery

Before you can add true value to others, you must first discover what value you provide. Too often, we allow ourselves to act against our unique strengths, and this can keep us from efficiently adding value through what we do best.

Self-discovery means determining your unique strengths and your developmental areas. While all of us enjoy learning about our positive strengths, we are usually not accustomed to searching for areas of our lives that need improvement. You can do either of the following steps, though I recommend that you do both to maximize your potential.

  • Professional Assessment: There are many powerful diagnostic systems on the market today - Myers-Briggs and DISC, for example-that can aid you in determining your unique abilities and personality traits. I have found great success using the Kolbe Index™ (found at as it provides a scientifically validated assessment of your instincts that you can put to work immediately in all areas of your life. The value of the Kolbe assessment is that you get precise data that outlines how you can communicate most effectively, how to minimize stress, the types of actions that match your strengths, and how you can maximize your unique abilities.

  • Third Party Feedback: Find three to five people that you trust to tell you the straight truth. Ask them to tell you what they see as your three unique strengths and three developmental areas. Be sure to tell them on the front end that anything goes-it is essential that you provide them with a non-threatening environment to provide this feedback. This step provides confirmation of some areas you know about, as well as, some blind spots that you can now address. With the insights gained from Self-Discovery, you should develop a specific action plan to put your strengths into play and to measurably address your developmental areas.

Step Two: The Six High Potential Essentials™

Simple does not always mean ineffective. E=mc2 takes only seconds to write, but it remains one of the most powerful concepts in human history. Likewise, the High Potential Essentials™ contain the distilled essence of success.

I was talking with a colleague at a party when a recently-graduated young man approached us. "What advice would you give someone like me who is just starting out?" My colleague, with the best of intentions, answered him. "Have a 'can do' attitude. Give more than you are asked. Be true to yourself." The young man gave him a polite, albeit puzzled, look. He wanted a roadmap, not fortune cookie proverbs.

He then turned to me and I shared my list of six High Potential Essentials™. I said, "If you follow these principles, success will be yours."

  1. Live by your values
  2. Do what you say you will do
  3. Finish what you start
  4. Arrive on time
  5. Always say Please, Thank You, and You're Welcome
  6. Apologize when you are wrong

The young man asked me to repeat the list, but this time he wrote it on a napkin. He said, "Thanks, that's wisdom I can use!"

The simplicity of the message seems to resonate with audiences everywhere as people often ask me if they can have a copy of the list. If you think of any time in your life when you failed to meet an objective, it was probably due to violating at least one of these principles.

Step Three: Constantly add value

You should endeavor to never leave a room without adding value to someone.

Read that again, slowly.

This does not mean you have to cure world hunger every time you enter a room. Sometimes your contributions are small, such as giving feedback to a colleague or telling your spouse "I love you". Sometimes they are more involved like solving a critical problem for your supervisor or helping a friend find a better job.

Adding value to others, coupled with Self-Discovery, and living by the High Potential Essentials™ provides a powerful combination for success. Knowledge of your unique strengths becomes a lever that allows you to efficiently apply your abilities with maximum effect. The High Potential Essentials™ provide the backbone to your success.

By applying your unique strengths, living by the High Potential Essentials™, and constantly adding value to others, you can achieve tremendous success and support the success of others. Your spouse will be pleased, your boss will find you invaluable, and you will get the joy that comes from building a legacy of which you can be proud!

Greg Langston is the President of The Langston Group. The Langston Group offers tools for executives, professionals and coaches at The Langston Group also offers a comprehensive 100 Day Leadership and Success system called the Integrated Helix System™. The Integrated Helix System™ helps individuals discover their unique strengths (Distinct Natural Abilities™), core values, and lifetime goals, all with a focus on maximizing potential and work-life balance.

Many more articles in Personal Development in The CEO Refresher Archives


Copyright 2006, The Langston Group Inc. All rights reserved.

Current Issue - Archives - CEO Links - News - Conferences - Recommended Reading