One of the big challenges I often hear from executives and entrepreneurs is about standing out. Everyone wants to stand out, stand out in their career, industry, job search, community, among the competition, and even in life. I admit, I have even thought about it on more than one occasion.
So last spring when Executive Coach Alan Cohen and I, were invited to present at Fordham’s Graduate School of Business, we tackled the subject head on. Looking at people who do stand out and what are the determining factors. We presented a series of 8 points that if practiced would help you stand out.
Since then, I have had the opportunity to present on the topic a number of times, each time the topic has evolved. Most recently, I presented it to about 45 Business Owners for the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce and TD Bank. As most of my presentations are dialogues, I often learn as much as the audience and it helps shape my views on the topic.
What really has become apparent is that it is not as much about the “how” as it is about the “what”. What are you willing to take a stand for? What are you willing not to compromise on, saying this is what I want? This is what I must have?
Standing out is not something to be achieved, it is not a destination. It is a choice, a way of life, and an attitude. While it can feel lonely at times, it doesn’t separate you as better than. Standing Out ultimately connects you and makes you feel part of. Standing Out can’t really be done alone, and even if it could, it could never be sustained alone.
I see a lot of people who take a stand for personal and professional freedom as an example. They eitherlost their job or get fed up at work, realize they are not being true to themselves and want the independence and autonomy that come with being your own boss.
What are you willing to take a stand for? What is that you are willing to put it all on the line for, in your life? Get clear on that, reorient your life around it, and standing out happens naturally.
Remember, STAND is an attitude and a lifestyle. If your answer is “I don’t know”, consider taking a stand for figuring it out.