What makes you unique?

Arthur and Gwen are both viewed as smart and hard working. However, hard work is not enough to get to the next level. In fact, “He’s a hard  worker” becomes a catch-all phrase that can obscure the unique skill, talent,  and approach that differentiate you work from your peers.  To uncover what  makes you unique consider the following:

1. What is your reputation?

2 Who seeks your advice and input? Why?

3 How do your friends, peers, co-workers describe you?

4 Why did your manager hire you?

5 How do you feel when people recognize your talent and skill?

Notice that I am not asking you what you think about yourself. I’m suggesting  you take an “outside-in” view in order to discover what others think  is your value. And don’t ignore the feedback from your spouse or significant  other. They have the opportunity “24×7” to observe your strengths and  unique capabilities.

For example, Linda’s expertise in sickle cell anemia has caused her to  be sought out by the National Institutes of Health. She is leading a national  study and will present a report to the American Medical Association next  year. However, when she was asked to take a leadership role at her hospital,  she wondered, “Why me?” That is the wrong question! It is more useful to  see yourself from the other person’s point of view. Linda’s division head sees  her as a recognized expert in quality improvement; the National Institutes of   Health see her as a thought leader and innovator; her colleagues view her as  passionate and patient-centric, and her brother considers her to be a “Rock  of Gibraltar” and the heart of the family.

The gap in perception is between Linda and Linda, not among her wide circle of advisors.  If you overlook or downplay the characteristics that make you unique you will miss an important lever of your success.

From Chapter 1:  Do I Have the Right Stuff

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