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A Reflection on Being Uncommon

by John Kaplan /

uncommon_book_cover.pngThose of you who have gone through a Command of the Message® training with me likely remember the "Uncommon" story I tell at the end of my sessions. (If you haven’t, here’s a podcast of my telling the story).

Although the story is a very personal memory, I use it as a motivational tool for the salespeople I work with because I think it’s a good example of getting yourself off the couch, persevering and differentiating yourself in the sea of sameness.

 (I guarantee you when I was doing it I didn’t think I would be telling the story over and over again to people around the country. Funny how things work out…)

The uncommon idea comes from Super Bowl-winning coach Tony Dungy’s book by the same name. My running up the hill was my way of doing something different, something to separate myself from the pack.

His website says that Dungy believes, “that there is a different path to significance, a path characterized by attitudes that are all too rare but uncommonly rewarding.” I couldn’t agree more.

As a salesperson, you are often hindered by the perception of your profession. It’s unfortunate, but we are all tainted by bad salespeople that ruin it for the rest of us. However, if you believe what you do matters, you should have no trouble being uncommon. Following the path of significance brings the greatest rewards.

Dungy was just inducted into the Professional Football Hall of Fame. No doubt that he gained votes by his exorbitant amount of football accomplishments. However, he wouldn’t have gotten there if he didn’t dare to be uncommon.

This article about Dungy’s HOF inducation announcement particularly struck me. For Dungy, it’s about the process – not the reward. It’s about how you live your life and how you impact those around you. When you’re uncommon, the rewards will come.

This week, find your own hill. Take it. Be uncommon. Let me know what you see from the top. My guess is, the view is going to be pretty great.

 Share the uncommon story with your sales team!  

Download it now on SoundCloud or iTunes.

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