I presented to the Project Management Association of Canada yesterday, my ‘Taking Our Careers to the Next Level” speech, wherein I encouraged people to get out there, be different and add extra value to your role as a project manager. Which made me think of this 2017 posting….
My friend, Roy Osing, contributed a piece to the Globe and Mail earlier this Fall with the title quite like this one: “Note to Young Workers: To be Successful You Must Be Seen.”
Yes Roy, great advice to young workers but also to all of us as well.
I have frequently written about the need for project managers to stand up and be different. Move away from the traditional triple constraint approach to projects and start thinking about being different – provide a value-add to your customers. Give more than they expect.
As any of us promote or sell our brand: corporate or individual, we should all remember this.
Be different. If you are swimming with a big school of fish, no one is going to notice you. If you swim with this same group and dare to wear something different, for instance, you are different. Maybe not different enough but definitely standing out in the crowd and that is the point.
But if you wear something different AND swim in the opposite direction, you will definitely stand out.
In business, any type of business, we can all learn from this. Your brand needs to stand out. Your product or service needs to deliver something different. Your speech needs to be delivered in a different format. Your approach to the market needs to be ‘out of the box’’ as they say.
Roy offers young people four pieces of advice:
1. Pay attention to your target: the person(s) you are trying to sell yourself to. Know them intimately – what they desire, what they covet. Being seen begins with doing your homework. It doesn’t happen through serendipity.
2. Determine 3 things you will do/deliver that will address the highest-priority requirements of your target.
3. Deliver your stuff unconventionally.
4. Go in the opposite direction of everyone else.
Good advice for all of us – young and old.