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A Confession

I have a confession for you.

I’m ordinary.

Completely and utterly ordinary.

Bog standard, in fact.

This is not what you are probably used to seeing, in a world where everyone needs to ‘win’, be the best, and stand out from the crowd.

Just go on social media. On LinkedIn, there is not one ordinary person. On Facebook, lives are curated in ways to highlight how extraordinary their owners are.

When you are trying to be extraordinary – as we have all been indoctrinated to do – then this can create social envy, FOMO and comparison bias.

Not for me, because I’m ordinary. Let them be as extraordinary as they want, let them work so hard to be more extraordinary than each other. I will just be plain old me.

I’m not unhappy about realising that I am ordinary. In fact, it gives me joy. I know that no matter how extraordinary I am, someone will be more extraordinary than that. With over 7 billion people in the World – most competing with each other – then I can have confidence that however extraordinary I am, there is someone more extraordinary out there.

It suggests that I am aware of the role of luck and circumstance in my experience. I have certainly done and enjoyed extraordinary things, but accept that there was more than just ‘what I did’ that contributed to the outcome.

It means that I am open to learning when things go well (and it wasn’t just my extraordinariness at work) or when things didn’t go so well (and someone else’s extraordinary nature won the day). I get to be pragmatic and realistic in my assessment of all aspects of what I have experienced.

It also means that I work with my clients differently. Because working with you is not about how it adds to my scorecard. I don’t have to massage reality to ensure I can keep building my self-worth.

I can just focus on doing extraordinary for others. Not being extraordinary, but using all that effort and energy in the service of what I can create for the people, teams and companies that I serve.

We don’t have to unnecessarily compete on the wrong things, instead get focused on what really matters. Sometimes it is not the pretty stuff that needs attention. An ordinary person like me is not afraid to take you there.

It means I don’t seek win-win. Because I don’t need to ‘win’ to derive joy from what I do. When I focus on what I can bring to others then it opens up a completely different way to play. I focus on the ‘win’ for the customer and for my clients.

So perhaps as you think about all the extraordinary people you could work with you might just consider someone a little more ordinary. Perhaps have had enough of extraordinary people offering you ordinary outcomes and are ready for something different?

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