How do I differentiate myself as a leader? Do I have to copy what other great leaders are doing if I want to be a great leader, too?
I get asked questions like this a lot and my answer is always the same:
EMBRACE what makes you DIFFERENT rather than emulating other leader’s actions.
In fact, I recommend that you celebrate the things that make you unique—the qualities that differentiate you from the crowd—so you stand out.
Be less concerned with what others are doing and more concerned with where you can make the greatest impact.
Leadership competition is rife. But there is always room for differentiators. Create your own corporate ladder to climb or your own blue ocean strategy for your business. Build the lasting impact and influence you are here for by shifting your focus..
What do I want to do - to what problem do I want to solve
Doing what is expected - to doing what you see needs to be done
Not rocking the boat - to sharing your POV when you see a more effective way to handle something even when you think it may not be what others want to hear
Those are questions my clients ask all the time...and it serves them well.
One of my clients works for a very large consulting firm and was getting passed over for promotion. She was highly frustrated. We dug in and realized that she was doing exactly as her bosses were doing and what was expected of her...and by doing so she was getting lost in the crowd. Once we shifted the focus to her unique talents and strengths things began to change. She saw a bigger problem that she was perfectly suited to solve. She began working in this area, speaking up, letting upper management know her opinion on the topic and why it needed to be addressed in a certain manner. After six months of speaking up and doing what others had no interest in, she got promoted two levels up. They not only created a new position for her they also created a department to help her with this new initiative.
Had she continued to follow the rules, she would still be getting passed over for promotion.
By being unashamedly herself and bringing all she has to offer to the company she highlighted her greatest place of difference and is now the “go to” resource when it comes to resolving new problems created by ever changing technology.
Stretch your comfort zone, expand your thinking of what is possible and celebrate your differences!