So I took off my pants! It was a five-star cocktail party and everyone who was anyone was invited to the launch of the Academy.
Every CEO, CFO, COO was invited in fact any “Ou” who was a main “Ou” was there for the event. I was speaker number 8 in a group of 12. Each had five minutes not only to excite the decision makers on the Academy but to get them to choose our various courses. The first speaker stood up and addressed the audience, then the second, then the third and all the time I am thinking, “how do I own this room today, how am I going to stand out in such a way that they remember me?”
Who is going to remember another talking head in a suit? I had to stand out I had to be outstanding!
The first thought that came into my mind was – take off your pants!! Immediately the one side of my brain screamed “No!” The other side of my brain whispered “you can do this, you have trained for this!” Here is an idea, when wanting to do something on the spur of the moment, golden rule number one – think it through!
Well, would I offend anyone? No, I am starting off with a suit. If I remove the pants all they will see are my calves and a little bit of thigh. I had on a jacket; it was a long jacket, because some of us need a long jacket!!! (barabig)
Would it work? I was going for a laugh, I was going for different. If I ran on stage and no one laughed. If there was a big silence in the room, I knew I had blown it. If the crickets in the room whispered to each other, “is it quiet in here?” I would be dead. My backup plan was to say “stag party? Sorry, wrong room …” and I was gonna leave and never come back.
They announced my name, everyone looked to the bottom left-hand corner for the next PowerPoint presenting, podium hanging, 3 piece suited, gel haired, enunciating, perfectly turned out, orator. I came running down from the top right of the room with my pants off. I jumped on stage, and the laughter was loud and long. My opening line was, “I know why you are laughing, my tie doesn’t really match my jacket. Have you ever left home in the morning and thought that you had forgotten something?” “That happened to me this morning and I still can’t put my finger on what I left at home.”
My presentation did not take five minutes. I delivered a short and powerful elevator pitch. It lasted one minute and I walked off stage to a standing ovation.
Two months after the event, the CEO of the host company, a person who was not at the function, in fact he was in Austria at the time, met me for the first time. On introduction his first words to me were “nice to see you have your pants on today, young man!”
I was definitely, Outstanding!
Jim Collins wrote a book titled Good to Great. Great book, fantastic ideas and research.
But I believe that being great is really not good enough. There are great salespeople, secretaries, teachers, actors, students, moms, dads, electricians and cat herders.But how many are outstanding?
Do you understand that only if you are outstanding, in other words if you stand out will people notice you, employ you, buy from you, follow you, build statues to you, worship at your altar and throw money at you. People who are outstanding get the results, the rewards and are sought after wherever they go.
SO, HOW ARE YOU BEING OUTSTANDING?
Not, fair, good, very good, great but Outstanding!
Sometimes being outstanding has nothing to do with being a rebel, extroverted, or flamboyant. Sometimes, in fact most of the time, all it takes to be outstanding is to be 1% better, kinder, more punctual or knowledgeable. The good news is that the average person is usually so pathetic that in order for you to literally stand out from the crowd all you have to do is be 1% better than them.
One of the easiest ways to be outstanding is to truly be you. Not the image, not the title, not the position but yourself. Take that one characteristic, skill that you have, that comes naturally and turn up the volume and give it to your world and you will truly stand out.
Being outstanding sometimes means going back to basics. Having manners, being punctual, showing respect, having consideration for others or just being an all-round nice person. It’s a sad fact that in today’s world, just by being a nice person you stand out.
So I challenge you with this, this May. Be outstanding!
Do you want to really stand out this month? Vote!
Do you really, really want to make this an outstanding country? Then vote for competence, efficiency, delivery, integrity and justice. Don’t base your vote on skin colour, heritage, ideology or conditioning. Now that will be OUTSTANDING!