What is your “secret sauce?” Clarify this, and a whole list of things fall into place, from career path to leadership purpose.
What do I mean by “secret sauce?” It’s the trait or skill set that makes you “uniquely you.” It’s skill or talent that is difficult for others to replicate. It’s your personal competitive advantage. It’s more than a strength – it’s your personal stamp on how you do what you do.
There’s huge value in discovering your “secret sauce” and leveraging that gift across all areas of life. When we first start working together, many of my clients don’t know how to express their value or gift. But as our work progresses, we start to identify these traits and devise a plan to bring them into everything they do.
Here’s an example: One client discovered and named his secret sauce as the “wealth whisperer.” He was a successful Realtor in the midst of considering a complementary career path. Looking deeper into his relationships, we discovered he is more than just a Realtor. In fact, many other successful Realtors wanted to come work with him instead – so why was that?
It’s because of Dave’s “secret sauce.” Dave has the ability to cultivate relationships with extreme high net worth individuals in a deep and meaningful way that others can’t seem to replicate. He goes beyond just being their real estate agent and becomes a good friend and trusted advisor. His clients see him as a peer (even though he isn’t part of the billionaire’s club) and just adore him, almost to the point they have “man-crushes” on him!
He is able to leverage this “secret sauce” with his clients because they believe in him, trust him implicitly and are so comfortable with him they are willing to go to a higher level. As you can imagine, he can leverage his “secret sauce” in a number of complementary career paths, from wealth management to personal concierge businesses, and he now understands he isn’t “stuck” in real estate.
Another senior executive I worked with called his secret sauce “the truth slayer.” Unlike many others on the leadership team, we discovered Tom has the ability to cut through agendas and corporate politics to shed light on the truth of an issue in a way no one else can. For him, seeking the truth is a rallying cry, and he values it above all else.
Because Tom has little to no ego and is unfettered by others’ agendas, he isn’t afraid to say the thing that others hold back from, and do it in a way that others see the truth in his observations. He sees himself as “slaying” the corporate BS and cutting to the chase. We used the discovery of this ‘secret sauce’ to help him move beyond his quiet, introverted nature to have a strong purpose for contributing in senior leadership meetings. The truth isn’t always easy to hear, but now, his colleagues look to him to be the voice of truth. And that is his “secret sauce” — his special gift, and the thing that makes him unique in his culture.
What is your “secret sauce?” Not quite sure? For starters, ask colleagues and friends that know you well. What do they see as your competitive advantage? How do you make a unique contribution? What do you do so well that, although it may come second nature to you, others can’t easily replicate?
It’s worth the discovery – l’d love to hear about your secret. . .
I love this post. The “secret sauce” is a great framework to think about what unique values I contribute. I’m a television writer and we talk about the “unicorn” in the room – a writer hired for his or her ability to throw a curveball into any story – something fresh and unexpected. That’s someone’s secret sauce.
Love it! Try sharing with others your “catch phrase” secret sauce. Such as: “I’m like the unicorn in the room -coming up with fresh and unexpected curve balls” Its a great 1 liner marketing tool that lets people know how you are unique. Thanks for commenting!