Be so good that they can't ignore you.
Steve Martin, Comedian/Actor
Are you doing everything possible to be your very best? Here are some ideas on how to set yourself apart from the pack:
Deliver beyond expectations--Delivering what is asked for is a minimum expectation. In order to stand out, go above and beyond.
Let's say you have a goal of running a 5K race, and your training plan calls for a 3 mile run 3x per week. Utilize one of your training days to stretch your distance to 4-5 miles and build up your stamina. Use another to combine speed work with your run by incorporating intervals or fartlek-which are both great ways to improve your strength and speed. By going above and beyond in your training, you will have extra stamina and strength to do your best on race day. Now apply this to your work, what would going above and beyond look like for you? What would your end result be if it was "more" than the original request? Can you imagine how your customers would feel about getting more than they asked for? What would your leaders reaction be if you delivered your next report with extra analysis that uncovered a new growth opportunity for your sales division? Going above and beyond isn't the norm and shines the favorable spotlight on you.
Leave the drama behind and be accountable-People driving around in their b-m-ws create a non-productive, exhausting environment and are a big drain on productivity. What does b-m-w stand for? Bitching, moaning, and whining. Develop your accountability skills and be known as the one who always rises above and delivers top notch results.
According to Cy Wakeman, author of Reality Based Leadership, there are 4 Ways to Increase Accountability : Commitment, Resilience, Ownership, and Continuous Learning. Not only will this help you stand out from the crowd, it will improve your happiness and well being at work. Resilience is incredibly important in today's world-change comes quickly in the form of mergers & acquisitions, changing markets, competition, etc.. Being able to roll with the punches while maintaining high levels of performance sets you apart.
Vision + Commitment = Excellence--Having a clear vision for what you want to achieve in life and aligning it with your work enables you to be intentional and fully committed. When you are committed--your bring your best because nothing less would be acceptable and wouldn't allow you to achieve your vision.
In the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey discussed The Two Creations which are based on the principles of personal leadership. Leadership deals with the first creation and as we exercise imagination and conscience we are able to visualize and create our plan for our life based on our values. When you connect your vision to all aspects of your life, including business, you gain clarity on how your daily performance matters. This ultimately leads you to the second creation, which is the point when you are committed to and living out your vision. What you do, what you don't do, how you do it--it all relates back to your vision. Won't you give your very best to achieve your life's plan? That is the path to excellence and