Stand Out From the Crowd

Posted by Todd Smith

One of the best ways to not only stand out from the masses, but to actually leapfrog over them, is to be branded as someone who is responsible. A simple, basic definition of being responsible is “doing what is expected of you.” This includes returning e-mails and calls in a timely manner, being on time for appointments, showing up for meetings prepared, taking pride in your work, and doing what you said you would do when you said you would do it.

There has never been a time in my life when I’ve noticed more people being irresponsible than I see today. It’s almost as if people feel that it’s acceptable not to do what is expected of them and that it’s the new standard in our society. The source of the problem is not what’s important. Rather, I want to focus on the opportunities it presents for you.

If you will make a commitment to become a more responsible person, people’s respect will not just grow, but it will soar. Your relationships will become more meaningful and your career will advance to a new level.

Top Five Tips to Brand Yourself as Someone Who Is Responsible

Here are my top five tips for becoming responsible:

Return e-mails—When people send e-mails, most of them are expecting a reply within 24 hours. For this reason, strive to return all your personal and business e-mails within 24 hours, even if it is simply to acknowledge the e-mail and let them know when they can expect to hear back from you. While there will be occasions when this is just not possible, make those times the exceptions and not the norm.

Return telephone calls—When people leave you messages, most of them are expecting a returned call within 24 hours. When you return your calls in a timely manner, people appreciate it and their respect for you will grow. If necessary, use travel time to return calls. Even if you aren’t being paid for your extra efforts today, your value to the market will grow and you will be paid for it the rest of your career.

When it is not possible to return people’s calls within 24 hours, send a short e-mail acknowledging their calls and provide a couple of windows of time you are available to talk. Then proceed to schedule firm times to talk. If the subject of their messages is such that you can respond to them by e-mail, then save time by responding by email.

Be on time—When you are late for appointments with people who value their time, you will have wasted one of their most valuable assets, and there is a good chance they will view you as rude, irresponsible, and disrespectful. If you are occasionally late for your appointments, take a couple of minutes and read my lesson on the importance of being on time.

Exceed expectations—Take pride in your work and if you are going to put your name on something, make sure it is the absolute best you can do. Start striving for excellence in all that you do. The more you stretch yourself to be your very best, the more growth you will experience, and the more success and fulfillment you will enjoy. Remember, you can’t grow and get better if you aren’t stretching yourself.

Do what you say you will do—From this day forward, when you tell people you will do something, do it, even if you later regret having agreed to do it. I have followed through on many projects shaking my head, wondering why I agreed to do something. When you follow through with your commitments, you build character and you will become wiser about the things you agree to in the future.

Being Responsible Improves Your Brand

Build a brand for yourself so that people know if you’re the one in charge, the task or the project will be done on time with excellence. I want to challenge you to hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you. Go above and beyond what might be viewed as your job description or society’s expectations.

Always be accountable to somebody for completing an action, for successfully carrying out a duty, or for fulfilling a promise. A person who does as promised gains the reputation of being reliable. People want to associate with and give their business to someone whom they can count on.

Here’s a critical point that I can’t stress enough: you should not distinguish between your commitments to being responsible in your career and those in your personal life. What so many people don’t seem to comprehend is that how they are viewed outside the workplace is just as important as how they are viewed in the workplace.

And lastly, don’t offer excuses to justify why you can’t be responsible. We are all busy, but it’s a matter of setting priorities. If being viewed as a responsible person is important to you, then you will find the time to do what’s required to fulfill your basic responsibilities.

One of the best ways to earn a person’s respect is to consistently do what is expected of you. It will make you stand out from the crowd.

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About the Author:

Todd Smith is a successful entrepreneur of 43 years and founder of Little Things Matter. This blog contains over 200 of his timeless life lessons.

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