Sanjeev Kotnala: Relevant VXP or MXP Employee with X-Factor

16 Nov,2022

Sanjeev KotnalaBy Sanjeev Kotnala


Last week I wrote about the six types of employees in an organisation. Where I asked the ones employed by an organisation to evaluate which type of employee they were and which type they wanted to be. This question was also open to self-employed people. Naturally, I had a few polarised reactions and feedback. A few readers suggested completing the thought with actionable inputs. So, here I share what I teach about ‘Employee X-Factor’ in my Personal Branding workshops and interactions.


The Employee X-Factor.

It is a simple thought. Being employed is a constant race to the top of the pyramid. And if you are in that race, you know only a few will climb the pyramid. I believe you want to be one of the employees climbing that ladder of success faster than anyone else. Unfortunately, the people you are fighting for the spot up the ladder have similar education, experience, and success.

In such a scenario, fundamental qualities like honesty, hard work, dedication, passion, being an extrovert, and being a team player are essential. However, they do not give you any advantage during appraisals. You and those in real contention for the next position, promotion, responsibility, or bonus demonstrate these traits almost equally.

You need a relevant, impactful differentiator, and that is the Employee X-factor.

In this era of expertise, you need to be the VXP- Very ‘X’ Person and, better still, the MXP – Most ‘X’ Person.

Where ‘X’ is the relevant and desirable trait not for your current position of responsibility but needed for the next position or the responsibility you want.


How To Find The Relevant Employee X-Factor.

This is much simpler than it sounds. In the organisation, look out for people who have moved up the ladder and are branded successful. Observe them and analyse their work style, their qualities and interaction.

Find the three critical factors that are relevant to the organisational success and which differentiate them. Analyse how they are internally branded? What are they known for? On what kind of work do the seniors seek their input? Someone will be the most proactive, innovator, and go-to person, and someone may be expert in scaling up, executing and detailing.

Do this analysis for five-six seniors who are most successful in the organisation. You will have a list of attributes, and hopefully, you will find a few common attributes. Note down these common attributes and qualities.


Actionable Employee X-Factor

Now evaluate where you stand against the top two most common attributes among successful people. Find the gap and draw a plan that will help you work towards internally being recognised as the MXP for the first attribute and VXP for the second attribute.

Just work on the top two attributes, and you will find that they will take care of other attributes too. There is no point in complicating things.


Amplify The VXP And MXP Association

Find ways to demonstrate these X factors for internal branding and recognition. Remember, it is not sufficient for you to have the X factor. You must be known and recognised to have this X factor- by the people who matter, people who will decide what step of the ladder you should climb.



Yes, you need all the skills and talent for the position you work and the position you want. You still need to demonstrate the performance and deliver the goods. However, the path to the pyramid top could be smoother and faster if your personal branding is right and is built around the most relevant X factor. It will be better if you are the VXP and MXP on the appropriate and relevant attribute ‘X’.

Also, you will be branded by default if you don’t work on your personal branding. So, it is recommended that you avoid this branding by default and work on it. Because all things being equal, your personal branding will determine if you climbs the pyramid.


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