Apr 8, 2014

Being a Value-Added Person

Avi Shulman wrote an article about  a "value-added" person.  He is someone who, whatever he does, where he is, and whatever situation he is in, adds value.

This reminds me of something a mentor of mine often says, that we have influence.  We must contribute.  It has to make a difference that we are here.  Personal growth is not enough.

Back to Avi Shulman for how to apply this concept:

"It begins with an attitude that says, "Where I go, with whomever I speak, I want to add value to the discussion, to the relationship.  I want my family, my block, my shul, my learning group, my place of work ... to be better because of me.

"Added value is a mindset.  It says when you speak to a person, you want him to feel better about himself and his world because of the added value your conversation or your presence brings."

I don't know that I agree with his example of the young girl hired to babysit who also washes the dishes and cleans the kitchen.  Would he say that a painter who comes to your paint your house should also wash the dishes and clean the kitchen? How about the washing machine repair man?

I can see it applying to showing up at a simcha not just to be yotzei but to make the baalei simcha happy and, possibly adding something positive to the people you encounter there.  It's something we can do just about anytime and anywhere. 


  1. Someone emailed a comment to me as follows:

    They are not good comparisons - a painter has to paint/plaster period- clean up mess etc. A washing machine repairman has do just that & move on to the next person who is anxiously waiting for him.

    A baby sitter can do other things (like a mommy) while kids are napping or playing nicely under her watchful eye.

    A painter we just had would have made a difference in my life if he had been considerably nicer & pleasant- although I actually am grateful to him for harping on my getting stoppers for doors that bang into the walls.

  2. I just don't like the idea of a baby sitter doing the dishes once and then, if she doesn't do it again, she ends up disappointing her employer. She is being paid to babysit. If she babysits and doesn't clean, I would not want her not doing extras to end up being to her detriment. I also would not want her not doing housekeeping to reflect badly on other babysitters. "Her? She only babysits, never helps clean the kitchen ..."

    Perhaps I'll write more in a post.