Dr Seuss said it well, “why fit in when you were born to stand out?” Throughout Dr Seuss books, he taught us about everything like courage, gratitude and that anything is possible. His stories immersed the minds of many with endless possibilities.
Embracing all aspects of yourself is far more pertinent today than ever before. Harnessing your individuality, setting alight your greatness and when you find your tribe of weirdness, collectively uplifting each other to live your dreams.
If you truly want to take your life, career, or business to whole new level of success, then taking the option of doing the same old thing, the same old way, cannot exist in today’s world. If ever there was a time to stand out from the crowd, it is right now.
There is often a pull of conformity, a powerful force to align your attitudes, beliefs and behaviors with those around you. At times, it can be quite overt, while at other times there is a subtler influence. Even though we think of ourselves as individuals, human beings are driven to fit in and go with the flow.
In the 21st century, creativity has replaced complacency. Resilience has trumped the status quo. Leading with excellence is now the golden standard.
Here are 7 ways to turbocharge your success, make an unforgettable impression and be identified as the real entrepreneur or leader that you are:
1. Know thyself
Cultivating emotional intelligence is the key to knowing thyself. You must have the ability to acknowledge your emotions and understand how you function in the world which will provide the platform to better understand why you do the things you do. Even more than that, emotional intelligence attracts people who are looking to connect with someone who is competent and capable. Know what you are good at and what you “suck” at. Invest in your strengths and open the door to possibilities.
2. Touchy-feely human connection
Too many people confuse sympathy with empathy. Sympathy comes from a good place however sympathy exacerbates the pain. Empathy acknowledges suffering and does not require collusion.
When empathy is introduced in a business environment, notions of “touchy-feely” tend to come into people’s minds, yet empathy is the glue that keeps relationships moving forward. As a result, people create bonds of trust and become insightful into the thinking and feelings of others. Your people acumen skills become refined and informed decisions are made.
When you are an empathetic leader, you become aware of how these feelings, whether you agree or not, impact the other person’s perception. You see through the lens of their perception and appreciate what they are going through.
“Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” – Theodore Roosevelt
3. Leading you, leading others
Whether it’s leading you, or leading others, empathy is critical to leadership development. Dr Daniel Goleman, wrote the article “What Makes a Leader?” in the Harvard Business Review, and it refers to why empathy is critical in business today. Empathic leaders use their knowledge to improve companies by demonstrating an awareness and appreciation of staff feelings even when not in agreeance as it builds trust.
People have faith that you will at least consider their feelings and support them to succeed. When empathy does not exist, people always have their guard up. Time is invested in having to look out for their own emotional interest, and this is how relationships deteriorate and productivity declines.
4. Building the empathy muscle
Perhaps it’s time to implement 3 practical tips to assist you to be more empathetic:
- Listen with your ears, eyes and heart. Listen to hidden emotions behind what people are saying. Notice body language, tonality and the context of the situation. Professor Emeritus, Albert Mehrabian identified 93% of a message we communicate is contained in our tonality and body language. Spend time to understand how we come across when we communicate with others about our feelings and attitudes.
- Be fully present when you are with people. Use people’s names and immerse yourself in the conversation as if nothing else exists.
- Be genuine in your recognition and praise of another person. Capture the moment and provide sincere and impactful words to recognize their contribution.
The more we use the empathy muscle, the stronger it becomes.
5. Keep your promises to you
You can stand out in today’s world simply by being consistent in fulfilling your commitments to yourself first and then others. If you can’t keep a promise to you, how will you keep your commitment to another? Honesty about not being able to fulfil your responsibility is crucial and even rarer. Take responsibility for your inability to deliver and be clear about the solution.
“Honest communication is built on truth and integrity and upon respect of the one for the other.” – Benjamin E. Mays
6. Happiness is a choice
Every single person is responsible for their happiness. It cannot be handed out to another person. It all starts with you. Whether it be at work, in your community or in your everyday life, we know that living a purposeful life is what really matters. When you unleash happiness, unlock your potential and break free from the herd, success is created. You don’t need to be superhuman, just break free from the cult of mediocrity.
7. Have a little Hope
I’m not talking about unicorns and rainbow’s, a person that everyone wants to muzzle, I’m talking about bringing curiosity to the table. Leaders do more listening and questioning and are driven by solution focused conversations. Rather than immersing yourself in blame, judgment or throwing each other under the bus, rise above the BS to really ask the questions – “What do you know for sure? What could you do right now to help? How could we make this work?”
The principle role of a leader is to issue a call to greatness and help others be great. Eliminate the emotional waste, facilitate conversations that lead people to find good answers themselves and collaborate to spark creativity and innovation.
If you were born to stand out, let us know in the comments what you are doing to make sure this happens!