In an organization, what makes one person stand out from another? Why do we like some people and not others?
Why do some have a Thing that makes them rise above while others do not?
Why so some people attract confidence and others don’t?
The trick is to identify relevant and unique VALUE that you have that will enable your organization to achieve its strategic goals.
Relevant – value that addresses critical business issues. If the business is struggling from a marketing point of view, you are unlikely to raise any eyebrows if your competence is in internal audit.
Unique – value that only YOU have to give. If you’re the same as everyone else, you won’t be noticed. Your Thing will be indistinguishable from others in the herd.
I have suggested the personal ONLY statement as a tool you can use to sort this out and to stake your unique competitive claim.
“I am The ONLY one that….” is an effective way of getting at defining your Thing.
Here are some Things that I consider critical in terms of organizational success and hence personal success if you exhibit them in a way no one else does.
1. Distinctive knowledge required to execute your strategy. You can deliver on the critical touch points of your organization’s strategy.
2. Unique experience in implementing programs that will “breathe life” into your strategy. You’ve been there – done that on the critical success factors.
3. A network of connections you can draw on for help and to fill any competency gaps you have. If you have a shortfall, you know where you can get help to fill the gap and maintain your momentum.
4. Incredible drive to get stuff done. It ain’t about the plan; it’s about EXECUTION. Your past contains a litany of successful “in the trench” work with frontline people who actually deliver results.
5. A love for humans. People get stuff done. Customers pay your way (and they are people). So if you don’t rate an A+ in loving humans, you will definitely be pushing rope uphill to get your Thing.
6. Ability to focus on the critical FEW things that will deliver 80% of your strategy. Time and resources are scarce. Can you sift through the potential many things that could be done and land on 3 things that will likely create the most success?
You’re not typically born with your Thing (if you are, welcome to .00001% of the population).
It requires dogged determination, tenacity and drive to develop it.
Do you have the stamina?
I hope so, because your Thing won’t be handed to you on a platter.
Roy Osing (@royosing) is a former CMO with over 33 years of leadership experience covering all the major business functions including business strategy, marketing, sales, customer service and people development. He is a blogger, educator, coach, adviser and the author of the book series Be Different or Be Dead.