Want a life changer that will help you avoid obscurity? Develop the habit of overdelivering. Every day, you choose if you will be a commodity or a brand by this very choice. Commodities are about the minimum. Minimum price, minimum expectations and minimum effort. This goes for the stuff we buy at the stores to the people we do business with.
Maybe all you need at times is a commodity. We don’t think too much about what kind of gas we buy or the experience we want. It’s fill it up and go.
However, if you want to be a brand in someone’s mind, then you have to promise more and deliver. Personally, I think this core value comes from how you see the world. If you continually ask how much you can give rather than how little you can get away with, then it will become second nature. You will learn to overdeliver at whatever you put your effort into. It bleeds into the experiences you will have with others.
With so much choice today at people’s fingertips, I am not sure you can avoid overdelivering and expect to be relevant. It’s just a matter of time before you become just another comparable person or company in the marketplace.
The Paradigm Shift
At its core, I think that trying to bring as much value as possible at different opportunities you have with people comes from a fundamental view of the world. Most people are thinking about themselves. We live in a narcisstic world where we are told it’s all about me. This makes it hard to think about other people.
But that’s the great opportunity. While everyone is thinking about themselves, you can make magic happen. You can think about the other person and create a world class experience with them. You can think about what would make their day or help them improve their lives or business.
It takes work, but that’s the point. It’s the hinge point of most success. While everyone else does not want to exert effort, you do the hard work of thinking about another person and do something above and beyond for them.
Noone gets excited about a factory. We know that things are made with repeatability and sterility at such places. If you want to work at a factory – industrial or knowledge-based – then good luck in the commodity game. It’s brutal and a death spiral.
The real action today lies with the creative class. These are the people who can think, imagine and connect with art and humanity. They are fully engaged and look to share their gifts with the world.
This is the kind of thinking that allows for overdelivery. You go above and beyond to make things more pleasant and wondrous.
Creatives are infiltrating everything from our dining experiences to retail wonderlands. Why choose boring when we can have wonderful?
Creativity is a muscle that grows when used. And you can overdeliver by focusing on trying to do more with people every time you have an encounter. You will have the chance to exercise creativity and see how overdelivering changes how they see you.
If you haven’t heard someone say, “Wow!”, to you lately, then you are underwhelming. Change the game and get creative. Work a bit harder and seek to delight. There are a thousand ways to make this happen. You just have to care enough and work a little harder than everyone else.
What can you do to start this habit in your work?