Value is a concept that’s learned. The quicker it’s grasped, the better. Value in business is different than value in society or arts or athletics. Value is exchanged in every conversation. Some people might be valuable through their artwork, others through volunteering, or even a jump shot.

It really struck me when I asked Howard Diamond what makes him so successful in business? He simply stated, “in every sales and interaction, I focus on what value I can bring to them.”

Listening can be valuable. Being present can be valuable. Teaching is extremely valuable. There are thousands of ways to be valuable. Every time I leave any type of exchange, the first question I reflect on is “how much value did I bring to that group/person?” Normally, with a little reflection, I’ll find the answer in moments. Then the second question is: “how can I bring more value next time?” Sometimes providing value to someone isn’t possible right now. Two weeks from now it may be different. One year from now it might be very different. Value is a fascinating concept that’s always moving.

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