How to be an MVP by Fred Kohout

Friday morning at Central Washington University I learned how to be the most valuable person in the PR field.

“Make yourself valuable” is advice that Fred Kohout, CMO at Cray Inc., offered as a path to success, and he explained how to do it with these four main points:

  1. Be open to taking risks
  2. Be willing to change and adapt
  3. Be a student for life
  4. Be authentic

To make yourself valuable you have to be open to taking risks. Taking risks is easier said than done, and when you’re in the moment saying yes may not always seem like the right answer (we’ve all been there). But Fred said that in any situation, “the downside is not that bad but the upside will be worth it.”

To be an MVP Fred also said, “If you are unable to change or are unwilling to adapt you won’t make it.” This spoke levels because the industry is constantly changing, and you have to be willing to change and adapt to it. If you try and stick to old ways or habits and not learn new materials, you simply won’t be able to keep up.

Another way to make yourself valuable is to be a student for life. You don’t want to think of your job as a punishment versus a reward type of environment, you want to see it as a learning environment. Learning and adapting to new things is how to thrive in this industry. Fred directly said that leaving work you should be able to ask yourself “what did I learn and what can I do next.”

The final way to be an MVP is to be authentic. Don’t be familiar, be earnest, be friendly and be ambitious. Go after what you want with the right mentality and go after what you want with no fear of failing, as Fred says, “You don’t always have to be right, see failures as the next opportunity.”

Hearing Fred talk definitely gave me an insight into what the future holds for my desired job industry and how to thrive in it. Becoming an MVP with these four easy steps is easier said than done, but with Fred’s wise words success can be in my near future.



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