Byron's Babbles

Elegant Currency

Posted in Employee Engagement, Global Leadership, Leadership, Leadership Development by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on February 19, 2021

Successful leaders identify by asking questions, the critical needs and issues of those they serve. The greatest leaders that I’ve experienced are highly creative on currencies and concessions. Currencies are tangible or intangible resources that our team members value. When assessing the potential value of a currency, keep in mind that currencies tend to have value in proportion to how well they satisfy the needs of the other party. In other words, what you value highest, may not be of value to me at all. If “prime currency” is money, then there is also the need to provide for “elegant currency.”

Again, “elegant currency” is a concept used to describe something that may be of importance to a person, however, it has no value for someone else. In negotiating a job offer, for example, a person can give the elegant currency to someone else at no cost or loss on their side. This can be a great tool when there is no room to budge on a salary. Don’t forget this is also an important part of retaining top talent as well. For example, I offer my time each year to work with the Indiana House of Representative’s interns. Those that are interested in education and education policy can take advantage of the experiences I’ve had and become a part of my network. The leadership of the internship program are developing this network in other areas besides education, and it really has become an elegant currency for some of the interns to expand their knowledge at no cost to a very limited budget.

I was reminded of just how important elegant currencies are when reading in the sixth edition of Love ‘Em Or Lose ‘Em by Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans. We all possess Elegant Currencies. Think about the many elegant currencies held by the people you work with that you are totally unaware of and how incredibly powerful it would be if we all shared and connected in more meaningful and helpful ways with one another. What elegant currency might you have, or could offer, that could just be the deciding factor of retaining one of your rock star team members?

In your career it is important to understand what may be elegant currency for the people you work with and what is elegant currency for you. We must all go to the trouble of learning what the elegant currencies we personally need, those needed of all in our organization, and any individuals we might be recruiting. Are there those you might recruit or a deal you might close through an “elegant currency transaction”?

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