Every stage of your career requires you to fight to stay ahead – there is always somebody just as qualified and experienced clamouring for the same jobs, promotions and opportunities.
As renowned executive coach, D.A. Benton, discusses in the book The CEO Difference, if you don’t initiate, stand up, step up and step out, someone else will. In fact, Benton puts it best when she writes ‘Today, you have to exceed in a group of exceed-ers’.
So how do you make yourself stand out in a group of people that share the same exceptional talent? According to Benton, you have to differentiate your thinking, your being and your actions.
The CEO Difference describes a variety of ways you can achieve these three goals, but to get you started on your quest for success, here are five tips from the book:
1. Be self-confident
You may have great ideas and skills, but unless you’re confident enough to speak up and share them, how will your boss know you have them? Self-confidence allows you to control the way you think. It helps you make decisions, trust your instincts, communicate better and feel happy and effective in your job. It can make or break a job interview and is definitely a must for management positions.
2. Be trusted
Research shows that the public’s trust in business people is fairly low. By demonstrating that you have integrity, believe in honesty and follow ethical principles, you can actually differentiate yourself from much of your competition. Show transparency, tell the truth, do what you say you will, don’t make promises you can’t keep and stick to your convictions. Being trusted will set you apart.
3. Be optimistic and easy to get along with
Being a positive, friendly person who colleagues like to work with will go a long way in your career. People always notice the bright, motivated and optimistic workers. Why? Because they stand out from the pack. They are calmer, more productive and consequently considered more valuable.
Unfortunately, it’s easy to fall into a victim mindset during stressful times or be critical of others when things go wrong. But you can always control your attitude. Being optimistic makes people like you more, adds to your confidence and is more enjoyable in the long run. Plus, it costs you nothing.
4. Clamor for information and insight
You should never stop learning. Nor should you hide your drive to learn, upskill and innovate. CEOs, executives and hiring managers don’t just look at your GPA or experience, they look for people with an insatiable desire to enhance their knowledge, understanding and ways of doing things. Read, find a mentor, expand your expertise and be enthusiastic about taking on new, exciting challenges.
5. Be a self-starter
People who stand out in the workplace are often those who make bold first moves, are the example for others and don’t just talk the talk – they take action. So how do you prove you have initiative? Volunteer for jobs nobody else wants, pick up challenging projects others discard, create, innovate and be proactive. Don’t wait to be asked – do.
Standing out from your peers really doesn’t have to be that difficult. You simply need to have a motivated mindset that is determined to go above and beyond in your thinking, being and actions.
As Benton writes in her book – “Success is about intention, belief and action”
D.A. Benton is an internationally known speaker, consultant and best-selling author. Through Benton Management Resources, she has been helping leaders and organisations improve for more than 20 years. You can find more tips for securing your next promotion in her book The CEO Difference.