Ron Edmondson recently wrote this post on how to set yourself apart as a leader. It’s a good read. Here are his four big suggestions.
- (1) Having the right connections and by networking
(2) A great idea and the faith or “guts” to go for it
(3) Working harder and smarter than everyone else
(4)Being at the right place at the right time
I would agree that these are things which distinguish one leader from another. However, I view this list more as observations about distinguished leaders rather than instructions on how-to set one’s self apart as a leader.
- (1) Networking
If you’re not naturally gifted at networking, you’ll waste your time and energy attempting to improve something you’re not good at. You should focus that energy into something you are gifted at.
(2) Ideas & Guts
If you’re not an idea person, you can’t force yourself to have ideas. Likewise, if you don’t naturally have guts and tenacity, you’ll drain yourself physically and emotionally acting contrary to your nature if you try to be gutsy.
(3) Work Harder and Smarter
People without a natural drive for excellence can put in more effort occasionally, but it isn’t sustainable. To consistently work harder and smarter than others, you have to have a natural drive and be a self-motivator.
(4) Right Place, Right Time
On the one hand, this is somewhat an issue of luck (or providence depending on your perspective). On the other hand, it takes a natural instinct to discern when is the right place and the right time. Normally there are plenty of leaders around the right place at the right time, but only one person steps up to the plate with the right idea and the guts to pull it off. Everyone else let’s the opportunity pass. The leader who sets himself apart can sense when it’s the right place and the right time.
With all that stated, it’s not a bad idea to work on areas of weakness, but you can’t be something you’re not. You can’t develop instincts you don’t have. Instead of focusing on being mediocre at something you’re bad at, focus on being the absolute best at something you’re good at.