As a child I dreamed of emulating my idols. Most of them were from sports. I was trying to imitate his movements, copy some details to improve my sports practice. Imitation was one of my favorite ways to improve in some activity. Step by step, as I grew up, I also paid a lot of attention to the teachers. I analyzed in detail the ones I considered as great teachers. And I tried to collect for my repertoire those quotes, exercises or actions that they carried out to achieve their goals.
At the University I also tried to learn from the best teachers and from some colleagues who excelled in a specific activity. Even at the beginning of my professional career, I tried to copy things from others. Maybe you also feel identified with my story. In fact, many professionals try to imitate or copy what they consider best practices. It is usual, when someone comes has a new job, they quickly try to notice others and copy what they consider interesting. How they dress, what time they go to have coffee, what restaurants they go to, how they deliver the projects … It is a logical attempt to want to fit in well, to quickly learn the unwritten rules of a certain company or organization.
In this sense, an interesting anecdote tells Lou Gestner, ex-president of IBM, of his first day at the company. He arrived one afternoon directly from the airport to the office. He had previously called his management committee to greet them before going to his hotel. At this initial meeting, held in late afternoon, Lou wore a blue shirt with a tie and the rest of the male executives wore a white shirt with a tie. The brief meeting ended after their welcome and formal introductions. And Gestner organized a second meeting the following day. And what happened was really curious. Gestner appeared in a white shirt with a tie while the rest of the team dressed in a blue shirt with a tie. In other words, everyone had changed their way of dressing in just 12 hours. Lou to adapt to the usual way of dressing in the company and managers to adapt to the usual way of dressing of their new boss. An anecdote that perfectly summarizes this human tendency to want to resemble others.
Normally, as we get older and gain experience, we no longer try to imitate others as much as we have our own style, our own label.
In this sense, and to improve your personal brand, I suggest that you no longer try to look so much like others, but rather bet on exploiting your own differences. I advise you to think about what characteristics you have that can differentiate you from other professionals in your own environment. Think about how you can capitalize on your talents, your knowledge, your professional experience, your personality …, identify how you are different and take advantage of it. TO HIGHLIGHT AND APPEAR TO NO ONE ELSE THAN YOU.
In a professional market as competitive and saturated as the current one, nobody is interested in hiring you if you are the same as the others. Do not try to hide your differences, take advantage of them and turn what makes you different into real strengths. I am convinced that daring to be different will bring you great benefits. Why as Kurt Cobain, leader of the musical group Nirvana said, “They laugh at me because I am different, I laugh at them because they are all the same“. He was right, because you remember; “The most successful people in most areas are really different from others and enjoy the luxury of not looking like anyone else”.