All my life, I have been led to believe that Lands End and John O’Groats form the extreme most south-westerly and north-easterly points of mainland Britain.
This summer, I travelled the far north of Scotland in a VW camper van (Orkney, Cape Wrath, outer Hebrides, the works). Imagine my shock when I learnt that John O’Groats is not the most north-easterly point at all!
The title should in fact belong to Duncansby Head, a remote headland crowned by a lighthouse about a mile to the east of John O’Groats village.
Now, this is all very interesting, you may be thinking, but what’s it got to do with personal impact in the workplace?
Standing at Duncansby Head I took a – some might say – rather childish pride in spending just a few moments as Britain’s ‘most north-easterly person’… within bombing range of Britain’s ‘most north-easterly seagulls’.
Every time you communicate with others, you have an opportunity to achieve a uniquely favourable impact on your listeners. No-one else has your precise expertise, your exact experience and perspective on the work that you do.
Maybe it was your personal contribution to the success of a recent client project; or the unusual combination of your past career experience with your current role.
So often, people take their ‘uniqueness’ for granted – the true value is invisible to them. I see it all the time in workshops where participants shy away from telling a personal story, or sharing an experience. They assume ‘everyone else already knows that’ or ‘other people won’t be interested’. Not true.
Take a moment to identify a couple of experiences or perspectives that only you bring to your current workplace. Believe me, you don’t have to drive all the way to Duncansby Head to be unique.
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