Roy's Blog

October 23, 2017

What happens when you are “the only one”?

“There is only one” is the answer every person should covet when someone asks a question about anything.

“Who is the right choice for this position?”

“Who has the highest leadership potential of all our managers?”

“Who shall we ask to lead the team charged with bringing our new product to market?”

You want the answer to be “There is only one choice” - and that is you.

You want the choice to be crystal clear; a no brainer to those asked to consider the answer to the question.

How do you position yourself as “the only one” when you consider that the number of contenders is huge. There is so much competition for anything, it’s almost unimaginable that one person can get tagged as being the obvious choice.

The only one

But it happens.

What do these individuals do to make themselves “the only one”?

First of all, they done get to that position through serendipity; it doesn’t just happen; it’s not a fluke.

They achieve this exalted only position by creating and successfully executing a strategy to be different from everyone else in a relevant way in their area of specialty.

These 6 actions are crucial to their strategy.

1. They meticulously understand their competition and how each of them approaches a task or assignment. They study their approach to solving problems and how they go about seeking approval for what they’ve done.
Their competitors provide the baseline behaviour to be different from. Typically most of the competition use common tools like copying what others do and also following what the pundits espouse as the “right” thing to do which serves as an opportunity for differentiation.

2. They have mentors who have excelled in getting things done in the trenches. They have a powerful brand among their peers as someone who is motivated to continually “try stuff” until they eventually land on a winner.
Executing gains more currency and credibility in an organization than intellectualizing and assessing the most appropriate course of action to take.

3. They question “We’ve always done things this way”—a great way to define why you are, but not particularly relevant to defining what you need to be. “Only ones” never assume the past is particularly relevant to moving forward in chaotic times.
They constantly advocate assessing current projects and activities to ensure they continue to be relevant to the direction of the organization, and are quick to put up their hand to say “cut the crap” if they’re not.

4. They are contrarian by nature and attempt a 180 to what most others do. Their natural inclination is to beg the question “What if we did it in exactly the opposite way?” and see what result can be achieved.
“How can I do this differently?” is foremost in their mind; it is involuntary response and governs everything they do - they always look for a way to add their personal twist.

5. They find the idea of benchmarking and best practices repugnant. You can’t be the only one if you rely on copying others as your modus operandi; they get this. They understand that all copying achieves is to increase the size of the sameness herd who all look alike and are indistinguishable from one another.

6. They have their sights on their next move. They know exactly what position they want and when they would like the opportunity to get it. This targeting is critical in terms of positioning and the priority of the issues to engage in.
If, for example, one covets the Director Marketing role, displaying “only one” tactics are more productively applied to marketing, sales and business strategy projects than others.

Being “the only one” is the ticket to success if you are looking for a way to standout from others; these 6 actions will pave the way.

Cheers, Roy

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 10.23.17 at 03:46 am by Roy Osing
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