Tuesday, September 27, 2005

25 Ways to Distinguish Yourself

Finally just got through reading Rajesh Setty's 25 Ways to Distinguish Yourself manifesto on Change This. He positions this towards technology professionals but it will apply to anyone. EVERYTHING is becoming commoditized. This is a big foundation point of the start-up I am attempting to help launch. Add value. Don't just sit in a cube. Here are the highlights:

1. Care As If It Is Your Own. Take Care of people: customers, clients, teammates, peers.
3. Build Strong Relationships. Relationships sustain ONLY when there is mutual value.
5. Set the Right Expectations. "Underpromise and overdeliver."
6. Ask for Help. There is more help than you need out there. Be ready to give when it is your turn.
7. Celebrate Small Victories.
8. Set Higher Standards. Michael Jordan described the secret to his success as demanding more from himself that anybody else would or ever will.
9. Know Your Values. Get introspective. It SHOULD take a long time to figure these out. If you are honest with yourself and not copying something you read off a website.
10. Pursue Right Memberships. They can payoff big time.
11. Help People Help Themselves. Teach them to fish, don't just hand it to them.
12. Be a Reader. All leaders are readers. I think Tom Peters talks about the payoff from being able to extract just 1 idea from every book.
13. Plan By Outcomes. Not by activities. What do you want to ACCOMPLISH this week?
14. Think Long-Term.
15. Embrace Uncertainty With Ease. There are no guarantees in life. None. Deal with it.
16/18. Ask the Right Questions/Be Relevant. Pay attention. Listen. Look for signs that the person you are talking to is disengaging from you.
19. Get Back on Your Feet Fast! Pick yourself up. Dust yourself off. Once more into the breach.
20. Lead a Volunteer Effort. Its not enough to just volunteer.
21. Balance Innovation and Continuous Improvement. Setty and I take the same line. Peters wants us to forget CI. I advocate balance.
22. Learn to Sell. EVERYONE sells. Get over yourself. Lose the stigma of being a "salesperson". Your not selling used cars. Your selling a product or service. Your selling yourself. Not selling OUT. Selling your UNIQUE VALUE PROPOSITION. If not, you're just another number if another veal fattening pen.
23. Learn Systems Thinking. Understand the system as a whole and the mutual interaction of the underlying parts of the system. The effect of changing one part needs to be understood. Oh...by the way...EVERYTHING is a system.
24. Influence the Influencers. Figure out who they are in the group you are talking to and talk to them directly. They move things. Go back to 16, 18 and 22. Rinse. Repeat.

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