What Happens When Standing Out Is Not Enough Anymore

For years, I have been telling rising leaders that the best way to achieve greatness is to stand out from the rest. But these days, standing out is becoming harder and harder to achieve, because everyone is working to stand out and go the extra mile. It’s becoming a real challenge to distinguish yourself from the rest, but there are still some things you can do to rise above the pack. Here are some principles to live by in a world where everyone is trying to be impressive:

Don’t wait for permission. Many people wait for someone else to identify them as a leader before they take action or feel they have the right to shine. Don’t wait for validation from anyone else—give yourself permission to take the first step forward and claim your spot.

Perform with excellence. Lots of people are churning out lots of work, but surprisingly little of that work is better than mediocre. We seem to be in an age when quantity is considered more important than quality, but that makes it even more important that you go against the tide. Make sure that everything you do is done with excellence and you will stand apart from others in the best way.

Stop marketing yourself. So many people feel they have to sell themselves, brand themselves and market themselves, but what you really need to do is let your words and actions speak for themselves. Let your authentic self be the thing that distinguishes you from others; the more real and unforced you are, the more relatable you will be and the more people will be drawn to you.

Give attention and help before you seek them out for yourself. With everyone around you working so hard to be noticed, you can set yourself apart by giving before you get. Adopt a philosophy of helping others without any expectation of getting anything back. It’s not only a powerful strategy to differentiate yourself from others—it also means that when you need a favor, you’re likely to be well received.

Always let character lead the way. When others are being rewarded for results, work to become a person who is also known for their character. At the end of the day, results matter but character matters more. Character will always have you doing what is right, and doing what is right is more important what doing what’s easy or what will earn you praise.

We’re living in a time when everyone wants to be known as a superstar, everyone is working to put in longer hours and everyone wants to be the most connected and available. But none of that will truly make you stand out—if for no other reason, then because everyone else is doing it too.

Instead, work to lead with dignity, respect, excellence, authenticity and character. Model the essence of an above-average human being and you will be noticed among the many.

Lead from within: If you want to distinguish yourself, go back to the basics—the fundamentals of what makes us good human beings.


#1  N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R

The Leadership Gap
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

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Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.

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