I heard a recent piece of advice I’ve adopted as my own: “Do it because you don’t have to.” Doing something that someone expects you to do is common, ordinary. Doing something you don’t have to do is exceptional. It’s rare.
People of influence are rare. They are unorthodox, distinct and out of the ordinary. If you want to stand out of the crowd and influence others, you must be willing to do what others will not do.
Influence and popularity are two different things, and it all has to do with proximity and purpose. Popularity is distant, and focuses on impressing people. Influence is close and purposeful, focused on changing a life. My friend Steve Gladen said recently, “You can impress people from a distance, but you influence them up close.”
Today, be rare. Do what you don’t have to do.
- Write someone a note instead of sending a text (shocker: send it in the mail, with a stamp and all!)
- Get the task done now, not just on time
- Communicate honor when you can assume everything’s fine
- Take time with someone over coffee, lunch or a drink when a phone call would do
And, thanks to Ben Stroup for part of the inspiration for this blog.