Tuesday, January 28, 2014

An Uncommon Thread

An Uncommon Thread

Remember back in school; growing up…when something out of the ordinary happened, we felt a tiny spark of excitement.   

When we were able to stay on the playground thirty more minutes, or when we had a guest speaker, or especially field trips.  Anything new…was fun.

For many of us, it’s no different today, as adults.  The slightest hint of something new or different in our everyday routine, can give us that jolt of energy we didn’t know we needed. New and different can be scary at first, but it can be so fun, if we’ll just give it a chance. 

Soon what was once new is no longer.  Things become routine again.  It’s natural.  It happens.  Life happens.  It’s in fact, pretty common.

This week my best friend, Sonny, invited me to speak at an Avis Budget Group Leadership Summit he held for his Ancillary Sales Team.  “It’s car rental…and they sell you stuff when you pick up your car”, I thought.  Pretty common…a sales meeting, getting together to talk about new products, numbers, and “strategies”.

It was anything but common.  It was as uncommon as anything I’d ever experienced. 

In fact, I met about 80 uncommon people.  They not only engaged in deep dialogue with one another, they were also engaging in the way they shared their ideas. 

They were polished and knowledgeable about their products, but even more passionate about their people.  They were excited to be together, but couldn’t wait to get back to work on their shared mission, in their respective airports and local market locations.  They were uniquely different, as individuals, but somehow collectively they were the same…united, focused, and determined to win, together.

Senior executive leaders from their corporate headquarters flew in for the summit, just for support, and to build a little community with the team.  And…they were nice. Sadly, in corporate America, today…most executives are many things, but ‘genuinely nice’ is rarely how they’re described.  ABG’s executives were nice…uncommon, for their role.

Stepping away from my daily routine, for this experience was out of the ordinary.  Although the events took place in Orlando, Fl, where I feel almost at home, having lived there for nearly ten years…it felt new.  It didn’t feel common…it was uncommon.

Thank you, to Sonny and my new friends at ABG, who reminded me of the power of being uncommon.

Just like those out of the ordinary days at school were fun, new, and different when we were young.  And just like when something new happens in our lives today…when we choose to be uncommon, you and I can become the fun, the inspiration, and the very jolt of energy that everyone else on our team didn’t know they needed. 

One for the road…

Early in life, I remember learning in the second grade, that every single person on Earth is different.  I was fascinated with the fact that not one person has the same fingerprints as me.  Not one person has the exact same fingerprints as you.

Today, I’m still fascinated. 

Common, by definition, is ‘of no special quality’.  It’s simply mediocre, at best.  

Uncommon, on the other hand, is ‘exceptional’, ‘remarkable’, and ‘extraordinary’.

It’s easy to feel common, with our routine jobs, in our routine industries, with our seemingly mundane, everyday routine.  Remember that despite today’s circumstance, no matter where we are in lives or careers, we are not common.  We’re all created differently.

We can choose to go OneMoreStep into our uniqueness, and leverage it.  Nobody else is just like us, anywhere in the world. 

So we should embrace our opportunity to truly be uncommon men and women…and just maybe, we'll be someone else’s inspiration to do the same.

Have a great day.


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