Today I traveled up to Utah State University in Logan Utah to give the keynote speech to several hundred incoming freshman students to kick-off Orientation. The event was held in a big auditorium and the students filed into the auditorium in their different orientation groups. As the program began the emcee let everyone know he needed to take roll to make sure each group had arrived and he began calling out each group by number. As he would call out each group number, sections students would respond by hooting and hollering at the top of their lungs with each group attempting to outdo the last in the loudness of their cheers. Their enthusiasm was awesome and extremely energizing, which was helpful given that I’d just returned from a long trip and had woken up at 5am to make the long drive up to campus. But one of the groups, when their number was called, didn’t just hoot and holler – they jumped out of their seats and threw their hands in the air doing the wave through their group. Guess which group stood out the most to me today? That’s right…the group that had gone out of their way to be memorable.
“If you want to stand out from the crowd, give people a reason not to forget you.” – Richard Branson
Group two had given me a reason not to forget them, and the fact that I’m writing a blog about them tonight tells you that their wave made them extra memorable. They set their inhibitions aside and sent out of their way to stand out from the crowd today, which was quite an accomplishment because all of those USU Aggies had amazing energy and a ton of school spirit which makes me love them all!
People who are willing to go outside their comfort zone and throw inhibitions aside and put themselves out there are AWESOME! They are the people you can’t forget. They are the people who stand out in a crowd. Think about it – it’s never the person acting too cool for school that’s memorable – it’s the person who lets their hair down and goes all in without caring a lick about looking silly that gets noticed and remembered. It’s the person who jumps out of their seat and does the wave, or the person who bounds onto the dance floor busting out any moves they can (even if they are awful at dancing), or the person who is willing to be brave even when they aren’t feeling confident….those are the people we all remember. Those are the people who stand out to us.
I can tell you from my experience as a CEO that it’s the people stand out that are far more likely to stay standing in a company. As CEO I always took notice of those who went all out in dressing up for Halloween, and those people who were willing to try even when they weren’t good at something. I noticed the people who didn’t just participate, but who made it fun for everyone else to participate too. Those kind of people are the ones you always want to keep around..
Be memorable. Be uninhibited. Be silly. Be FUN!
~Amy Rees Anderson (author of the newly released book “What Awesome Looks Like: How To Excel in Business & Life” )