It seems like every January I make a resolution to read more business books. One of my favorite things to do is bring a new book with me to a diner, and read it while having a delicious breakfast. By the time I’m finished, I’ve learned something new, enjoyed a great meal, and feel inspired to help my clients advance their careers.
A key theme has emerged since January 1st: the value of being remarkable. Whether it’s an idea, a style, a mindset, or personality trait, successful professionals have found a way to be “worthy of attention.” Now six weeks into my resolution, I thought I would share some of the sage advice I’ve learned, and as an extra Valentine’s Day gift to you, I’ve included the names of the books I’ve been reading and enjoying. I assume you already have your own favorite diner.
1. Try to look for the question that others have ignored. Dig deeper, think longer, and don’t accept anything at face value. Since we are all so busy, we tend to make assumptions because they help us get on with our day, let us tackle our To Do lists, and advance our own agenda. In that rush, we miss opportunities to make a difference; to be known as the fresh voice or valued colleague who nudges the team out of the mundane. Source of inspiration: Adam Grant, Originals.
2. Do you have a nickname? We all have job titles and given names, but remarkable people often have positive or humorous nicknames. Nicknames are like a free branding consultant. Nicknames create bonds and can help build a cohesive team. They certainly help us be just a little more remarkable. I have one client who’s nickname is the Culture Queen because she’s so good at designing team-building events that coworkers really enjoy. Source of inspiration: Adam Galinsky and Maurice Schweitzer, Friend & Foe.
3. Does your inner self shine through? When I am called in to help a leader who is derailing, I start by asking their boss, “Does his/her mind, heart and gut show up everyday, or just their body?” More often than not, the boss says, “That’s it. They’re checked out.” Being remarkable requires the ability to be fully present. Remarkable people are flexible, dynamic and most importantly authentic. Another way to look at it: does your inner and outer self align in a way that makes people want to work with you? Or follow you? Source of inspiration: Amy Cuddy, Presence.
4. Do you have something to teach others? Is it a thought process? A time-management technique? A way to handle bad news? We all have unique perspectives to share. Why do we keep them to ourselves? Stop second-guessing yourself and thinking that what you know or have learned is not valuable. Don’t we all love to be around imaginative people? That requires and open and positive self-concept and a genuine willingness to learn. Source of inspiration: Carmine Gallo, Talk Like TED.
Now back to the title of this post. I know the answer. It’s yes. It’s just a matter of deciding how to be “worthy of attention.”