This post is devoted to standing out, to being different, and thinking outside the norm. It is to encourage everyone to occasionally be a round peg in a square hole. It is meant to celebrate the nonconformists, those others think a little “crazy “, the revolutionaries, the visionaries, the renegades, the mavericks….those who just see and do things differently. It is for those who always Take a Walk on the Wild Side and who wonder, “Why fit in when you were born to Standout?!” –Dr. Seuss.
Today, challenge yourself and others to push the envelope, become inspired to test the limits, learn exactly what it takes to be different in the right ways, and empower each other to show the world that you were fearfully, wonderfully and uniquely built to make a BIG difference.
Leap out in front
Why is nonconformity and standing out from the crowd a good thing? Most of our lives, we are told to get in line, follow directions, and spend a great deal of time trying to fit in….
In 1915, Mignon McLaughlin said, “Every society honors its live nonconformists and cherishes its dead troublemakers.” We owe all progress, discoveries, and breakthroughs to those who would dare to be different. The benefits of being a real Standout include the following:
- Authenticity – you live your life on your own terms, completely uncensored, undiluted, and unimpeded by external forces. To be yourself in world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest form of accomplishment.
- Differentiation – what you do and how you do it make you special. Be radically you, and a better you each day.
- Originality – you elevate yourself above everyone else with a fresh, unique approach that is difficult to replicate and impossible to ignore.
- Courage – your courage allows you to go places others only dream of….You march to the beat of your own drum despite the critics who just don’t get it.
- In demand – due to the uniqueness of what you do, people and opportunities will seek you out….You will find your services are in great demand.
- Control – because you have taken the road less traveled, you have a real mastery over those things it takes years to learn and others have not even ventured to begin. You are not a slave to the opinion of others who have not walked your path, and you live a blessed life because you exist and operate on your own terms.
- Creative freedom – you demonstrate and enjoy greater freedom because you see your work as a form of art. You are doing what you are passionate about and what you were born to do. Your gifts shine through and your spirit soars.
- Play to your strengths – you no longer are compensating for weaknesses. Instead, you emphasize your strengths and find ways to bring out other strengths you did not even know you had.
- Exclusivity – because of your unique passion to perform the way you do, you put yourself into a category of ONE and position yourself to dramatically improve your earning power, to enhance your reputation and to increase your personal value proposition.
What are the consequences of being vanilla, of moving with the herd, grazing lazily? Truth is, from the moment you were borne, you were being indoctrinated. Almost every institution you have come in contact with is self-serving, with conformance, manipulation, and control baked into their core.
From education to entertainment, from the foods you eat to the music you listen to, from the clothes you wear to the car you drive, from the books you read to the news outlet you watch or follow, and from politics to religion, each works to get you to drink their Kool-Aid. They all invest tons of energy into suppressing original thought, uniqueness, individuality and differentiation.
So many fear and reject truth. They believe there is only one right way – only one right way to teach, only one right way to learn, only one right way to speak, only one right way to lead, only one right way to regulate all affairs.
To a hammer, everything is a nail
And there are so many hammers in the world. The idea that things can be joined together or built with anything other than hammer and nail is foreign to the hammer, and the hammer will reject it. This is the greatest threat to progress or real growth.
From birth, you were molded, groomed, and patterned to fit into narrow, self serving interests and perspectives of others, because it makes them comfortable. You are being taught by people who are naïve and have chosen, instead, to conform themselves to the thoughts laid down by their predecessors.
This is self perpetuating. Giving into the pressure will be utterly devastating.
One of the saddest results of a normal life is giving into sameness. Of giving into becoming something you really were not meant to be. The world is expanded by your uniqueness and made smaller by uniformity.
Be A Standout
Unfortunately, the majority of folks you know are trying so hard just to fit in; the wisest are doing everything they can to be a Standout.
These renegades daringly are different, they choose to be authentic, and they live and work on their own terms, not someone else’s. Sure, they seek wise counsel, only for the sake of having bigger visions and expanded capacities, never to conform.
So, here is your nine-point game plan for being a Standout, managing your brand, and becoming indispensable.
- Manage questions – Ask thought provoking questions in every interaction. When asked, give answers that are bigger, richer and more inspiring than they ever expected.
- Manage problems – pounce on these gifts with real enthusiasm. View them as a chance to showcase your talents. Be a problem solver, not a problem peddler. Do not only fix things, make them tons better than anyone thought possible. When you see issues, volunteer to resolve them.
- Manage projects – put your distinctive touch on everything. Lay your DNA on everything. Deliver bigger, better, bolder results that are more ambitious than anyone could hope for….
- Manage deadlines – finish everything under budget, early, and with a positive passion and cheerful outlook. Build a reputation for doing things right the first time; be one who always meets their commitments.
- Manage conflict – when someone gives you a complaint, immediately seek to understand their concern, then, go the extra mile as your standard – Exceed Expectations. Blow their mind by showcasing how you are response-able.
- Manage quality – Whatever you do, remember it is worth doing right….the first time. Execute with the precision of a marksman. Deliver your results with zero defects and top everything with an exclamation point! Make your name and results Synonymous with excellence, consistency, originality and speed.
- Manage meetings – really be present, anticipate the real need, and ask smart, well constructed questions. Contribute with clarity and conviction.
- Manage presentations – seize every opportunity to capture real attention, drive a real message home, showcase your persuasion skills, and make a spectacle of yourself, closing with a BANG!
- Manage self – we have but one life to live, so live it to the fullest. Do not live as others expect. Make your own rules. Stay away from popular perspectives, and do not follow the weak and malleable will of the majority. Avoid the traps of indoctrination, and avoid the seduction of the comfort zone.
Decide what to be and go be it.
If any of this message sounds basic and simple, it truly is, yet be certain everything included is still rare in application.
Fitting in is easy, and it is often unwise. Throw one crab into a pot of boiling water, and it will get out…throw a bunch of crabs in and bring the heat up slowly, and they will cook together.
Mediocrity is the brand of everyone in the masses. They will always look for ways to discount innovative ideas and strenuously resist possibilities present in change and growth.
Do not surrender your excellence. Do not be led like a lamb, unless it is by a lion, to become bigger and better than ever before….to StandOut.
Finally, a close with another quote from the great non-conformist Dr. Seuss — one of the good guys who devoted his entire life to promoting original thought and creativity.
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.Dr. Suess
Scott Rivers is the Managing Director of Cerca Talent+, a talent agency for the Diagnostic and Life Science Industries. Scott’s recruiting experience extends into the areas of Diagnostics, Life Sciences, Oncology and Genetics. His team manages recruitment for all levels within the commercial area of these businesses.
As a leader who has worked at all levels of commercial, medical sales and global marketing, Scott os am intense professional who works with organizations to fine tune talent branding. If you are a leader looking to expand your team with professionals who are focused on delivering work in which they take pride, and you can be proud of, ever day, then Scott would be privileged to help you in the process. Having been a professional in the fields where you focus, Scott knows the ins and outs of the companies, the business and the customers you are working to come alongside.
Cerca Talent+ is a full service Executive Search Firm with a strategic focus in the the areas of Clinical Diagnostics, Molecular Diagnostics and Oncology, Genomic and Genetic Medicine. Our clients choose to work with Cerca because of our deep understanding of the industries we serve. They continue to work with us based on our extensive market knowledge, vast connections and quality of results.
That’s a good match for any company. Partner with the group that can talk shop and gain rapport with the pros who will lead your business into the future. Email Scott Rivers today at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call direct at 201-594-2101, and we will begin the process of finding you Allstars that help you Standout.
Adapted from 100 Day Challenge
Gary Ryan Blair