Stick Your Self Out There

March 13, 2009 Scott is a regular contributor to the St. Louis Small Business Monthly, INSTORE Magazine, PR Canada and Expert Village. His conversational, content-rich articles have appeared in hundreds of online and offline publications worldwide. Also, his work has been reprinted in dozens of textbooks and resource guides. His other books include The Approachable Salesperson, The Approachable Manager, The Approachable Frontline, The Power of Approachability, How to Be That Guy, Hello, My Name is Scott, and Make a Name for Yourself.

WHAT: Help Wanted: How to keep your Job
What you can do to keep your job... the conclusion of our "Help Wanted" series.

How to keep your Job:

* Exert Your Distinctiveness (what are you known for knowing, who is already attracted to you that sees you as a resource, what have done in last 24 hrs to amplify your expertise)

* Become the Most Interesting Person at Your Company (distill your stories; don't just "tell" them, insert your passion into everything, predictable unpredictability)

* Leverage Every Crisis as an Outreach Opportunity (call everyone- literally, write everyone)

Meet Scott Ginsberg
Chicago Bagel Authority
953 W Armitage Ave
Today, 12 noon

1) Exert your distinctiveness.

As an employee, the net worth of your human capital is a function of your expertise. So, the three questions you need to ask yourself are: (1) What are you known for knowing? (2) Who is already attracted to you that sees you as a resource? (3) What have you done, specifically - in the last 24 hours - to amplify that expertise within your company?

Once you've identified and valued your TRUE expertise and inventoried your negotiable personal assets, the next challenge is to assert that distinctiveness in every possible personal branding touchpoint: Questions you ask, answers you give, emails you write, meetings you attend and conversations you hold.

The cool part is, asserting your distinctiveness elevates your visibility. Elevating your visibility attracts more responsibility. More responsibly increases the net worth of your human capital. And an increased net worth of human capital solidifies your job security.

REMEMBER: If your presence makes a difference; your absence will make a different. You WANT people to start asking where you are when you're not around. You WANT to become so invaluable that you become noticeable in your absence. Employees like that rarely get laid off. What are you known for? What are you known AS? And what hard-to-copy capabilities do you possess that position you distinctively, effectively and continuously?

2) Become THEE most interesting employee at your company.

Boring people lose. Boring people fade. What's worse, boring people get ignored. So, there's an inverse relationship between how successful you are and how boring you are. The good news is, you can become That Guy - or That Girl - if you learn to intensify your interestingness.

Consider this list of strategies for becoming more interesting in the eyes of your coworkers and superiors:

o Distill your stories; don't just "tell" them. Yes, stories the most powerful way to get your point across. But, you can't just tell the story. Figure out the lesson(s) learned, universal human experience/emotion and practical take home value for your audience. People will start to pay more attention to you.

o Insert your passion into everything. Whatever you're passionate about, embed that passion into the pavement of your daily encounters. You will engage, excite and inspire everyone you meet because the FIRE inherent in any type of passion is irresistible. (Unless you have passion for, say, stabbing people with fountain pens. Probably don't want go around announcing that.)

o Predictable Unpredictability. Build up a critical mass of interest by positioning yourself and your actions in a way where people excitedly want to know what's going to happen next. For example: What if every morning you posted a penetrating, though-provoking question of the day on the dry erase board outside of your office? People from departments you've never even HEARD of would start stopping by to meet you. Think Bart Simpson's chalkboard. Think unpredictable.

REMEMBER: Nobody notices normal. Nobody buys boring. And nobody pays for average. On the other hand: Those who are interesting get noticed. Those who get noticed get remembered. And those who get remembered GET business. How interesting are you? How much job security is being boring costing you?

3) Leverage the current economic crisis as an outreach opportunity.

The word "crisis" comes from the Latin krisis, which means "turning point." Huh. That's interesting. So maybe the challenge is to start saying yes to what IS. Maybe you need to accept the reality of this crappy economy and start taking massive, immediate action to ease the posture of your customers.

Here are two suggestions for leveraging this crisis:

o Call everyone. Literally. Next week, take a FULL DAY to personally call every single one of your customers. See how they're doing. See how they're handling the tough economy. Reassure them that, notwithstanding layoffs and declining profits, the world is not going to implode. Then, find out what you can do to help them grow THEIR business. You'll make their day.

o Write everyone. When the stock market started to (seriously) tank in late 2008, my financial planner sent me a personal letter explaining three things: (1) A simple summary of current market conditions - written in a way that even a mathematical moron like myself could understand, (2) A reassurance that no matter what happened, she would handle my assets ethically, professionally and wisely; and finally, (3) An invitation for a personal meeting at her office to explain anything further. How many people do you think I showed that letter to? I wonder how many of your customers are showing YOUR letters to THEIR friends?

REMEMBER: In the midst of crisis, your coolness, honesty and accessibility CAN have the power to support and reassure your customers. But only if you leverage it properly. What will you use the current economic situation as a turning point for? How will leverage the slow times to kill two stones with one bird?

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