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Whether it’s about what’s good for business or what constitutes a “good” business, the Business of Business theory has both the proponents of creating shareholder value by maximizing profits and the opposing camp of promoting corporate social responsibility.

From a pure business point of view, some may not see corporate social responsibility as a core business value. Yet others strongly believe that if there is a purpose to a company’s mission and objectives and it helps the greater good, then everybody benefits.

Defining your purpose and developing your core competency.

Being engaged with a sense of knowledge and purpose is indeed a defining capability that can set you apart from the competition. Think of it as a core competency. It applies to every department in any company, but it begins at a personal level. Think of yourself as a company and think about what defines you.

When you’re at work, knowing and defining your own core competencies not only helps you sharpen the skills you have, it also helps you understand what skills you need to be working on to increase your arsenal. The better you are at what you do, the more you will contribute to the business overall. And that’s what separates you from your competition.

Understanding the nature of business and utilizing each employee’s core competencies is one reason why Caster Concepts, a manufacturer of high quality, heavy-duty casters and replacement caster wheels in Albion, Michigan is so successful. “We’ve always had a desire to make an impact early and often,” states Bill Dobbins, President of Caster Concepts. “We have a lot of industry firsts in areas like reducing workplace injuries and streamlining processes. Developing new product innovations and striving to bring out the best in each individual is central to our ability to manufacture the very best industrial casters and wheels. As our employees continue to learn, grow and succeed, so do we.”

Everyone should care about personal core competencies. And here’s why.

If your competencies are not unique and are something that everyone else has, then you will not stand out. For your company, a commonplace competency does not translate into a compelling product. It means your company will get less for your product, you’ll get less for your perceived value, and you’ll probably be less engaged, which can lead to a weakened sense of purpose.

Make a difference. Great core competencies are rewarding for you, for those you work for, and for the world in general. So, are you working on your core competencies and do you even understand what they might be? If not, ask someone that you work for and respect. The payback can be huge.