Although Stephen Colbert talks about it tongue-in-cheek, far too few
people are difference-makers. It’s not about working hard, being smart
or good at your job – lots of people are those. It’s about moving the
needle for your organization and leaving a legacy. We may think we’re a
vital cog in the machine, but the truth is few of us are indispensable
Companies want people who make a difference.
Think back over the last twelve months and write a list of the
significant things which wouldn’t have happened without you. Being in
the vicinity of success is not enough. Making it happen is what counts.
If you are struggling to put things on the list, look at your current
projects and focus on the big ones. Too often people get bogged down in
‘busy work’ or in projects which only get 80% done. Far better to do
three major projects which are complete than five half-baked attempts.
a difference is not a function of seniority or experience. It’s about
focus, innovation and determination. Things which are different have
never been done before. They’re probably difficult. They might also be
outside your job description. But it’s what organizations want and need. It’ll not only make you valuable, but also provide a foundation to the satisfaction you get from work.