Volume 7 Number 6 | June 2017
I drive very distinctive cars, so I tend to be careful about courtesy when I drive. People know who I am. I'd rather them think, "There's Alan, he's very polite on the road," rather than, "There's that jerk in the Rolls who thinks he owns the road."
The more likely people know who you are, the better you tend to behave. You can't get lost in the anonymity of the crowd. It's one thing to boo in a huge auditorium, but another to boo in a meeting of 12 people. This is also why people feel much freer to laugh and applaud as members of a large audience, whereas in a smaller room, they're apt to be afraid of behaving in a way that's not shared by others in the room. (If you attend church, you'll find that people tend to wait until someone else has stood at the proper time, they don't want to be conspicuous.)
What Does Anonymity Do For Consulants?
It doesn't do much! Hiding in the crowd is not the way to be seen as differentiated. Waiting to see what others do is no way to lead the pack.
We need to drive that distinctive car, metaphorically, always being polite because we're recognizable, but also leading the way. No one who is derivative leads the pack, ever. You will only be recognized and pointed out if you become differentiated.
Long ago I learned that it's important to stand out in a crowd so long as you look good while you're standing there. The crowd (the "herd" I allude to in Million Dollar Maverick) will allow free thinkers to stand out.
That's the easy part. The harder part is using the judgment and discrimination to be seen as innovative, respected, and expert. Sometimes that's best expressed by making sure you know and follow the rules of the road.
© Alan Weiss 2017
I'm running a one day session on Maverick in Boston on September 8, and a two-day meeting on general marketing and sales in New York on October 19-20. They are for certain groups, but I'm happy to allow Mindset subscribers to attend.
Email me for details: email@example.com
Boston is $750 and New York $1,200, well below my usual workshop fees.