TRIPLE III TIME: Don’t Apologize For Being Different
Some time ago… for a GREAT friend… I prepared a New Leader Log… which was a five-part Series of TOP 10 professional development suggestions. Why just five (5) parts? Well if you really think about the entire series… that means I offered a total of 50 suggestions/ideas to someone taking on new leadership responsibilities. And fifty was probably more than enough back then… and maybe even still today!
One of the early suggestions… and one of my favorites was: Don’t Apologize For Being Different. Often new leaders assume a very cautious stance and try to be the most like other businesses/organizations that offer similar products and services. This is obviously the safer option going forward. But what about the need to claim that you are SPECIAL in the marketplace? Isn’t it always important to “stand-out-in-the-crowd” and be recognized as progressively different/unique?
During my entire world-of-work career, I followed a “Don’t Apologize For Being Different” leadership philosophy. Yes, this resulted in always being under the “what is he doing now?” microscope… but it also enabled us to be considered innovative leaders in our field/sector. More specifically it helped us:
- Hire and retain great employees
- Bend traditional rules for the sake of improved customer services
- Obtain additional grant dollars to expand service opportunities
- Gain business/organizational support across and beyond our service area
- Be invited to share our creativity/innovations many times… many places
Bottomline: Don’t Apologize for Being Different. Build on what makes you SPECIAL everyday… EVERYDAY!