When you take another person's work as your own it is plagiarism. When you do the very same thing but give credit, it is research. Using these parameters I have been engaged in research this morning to pull together this post.
As I opened my email this morning I found a great post from Sarah Robinson. The essence from this post, "Five Percent Better" is that standing out does not take a Herculean effort. It is not necessary to give yourself a complete "no prisoners taken, balls to the walls" makeover. Just choose one thing and do it 5% better. Make a commitment to doing that one thing 5% better consistently. Attempting a full makeover is overwhelming and keeps us stuck in place. Doing one thing 5% better can start today and pay dividends tomorrow and every day after that. That incremental change executed daily actually moves you forward at a very rapid pace.
A few minutes later, another post appeared in my Facebook stream. This post, "Competing for Who Is Most Stressed" is from Gini Dietrich. Simply restated, Gini talks about the stress at her PR firm, Arment Dietrich with the launch of Spin Sucks Pro. Early in the week, Gini feels she is a supportive listener to her staff. As the week goes on (and her patience and energy lag) she spends more time fueling the fire with her share of "You think that's bad? This is what I have to deal with". As a result, neither Gini nor her team are feeling or dealing any better. Until today, as Gini vows to stop adding her tales of woe.
Wow, Gini found her 5%. Listen, empathize, commiserate and stop there. It's good advice for everyone, not just business owners. When a friend, colleague, employee shares a story of challenge, frustration or sadness; they want you to listen. They want to know they're not alone. They are not looking to hear about the crap you are dealing with. Listen, lend support and stop there. If you need the very same thing, go to your support system. Don't make someone feel a need to reciprocate when they come to you for support; neither of you will get what you need.
Think about it. How much better a friend, colleague, employee, consultant you will be simply by listening. It's a small step, maybe less than 5%, but it does require discipline and consistency. Find a way to do it and you will be leaps and bounds ahead of the crowd.