Sunday, September 20, 2009

Becoming a Category of One

Part of being unique in a field is to have two virtues:

Trust, those you deal with must be able to trust you to do what you say and to keep your promises. They must trust your ability to deliver.

Reliability, people need to be able to rely on you, that things will be what they expect

Yes, these two virtues are very similar, they are part of a package, that needs both elements.

In addition to the two virtues, you need to have a core concept. Much of that is being able to answer the question "What is your story?" You need to be able to answer what it is that you do in a way that has meaning.

Finally, you need to realize that the goal you are seeking is not painless or effort free. Reaching the so-called position of a category of one is not trite. If things don't change, you have not made the necessary commitment. If bonuses go to the top of an organization in a change initiative, before anything happens or before positive long-term results have been measured, you have already failed.

Assuming you want to be extraordinary and that you are willing to do the work, there is a book that tells you much of how to do it. It also addresses the two questions:
  1. Why you might need to make the effort.
  2. Why you instead of someone else.
It would be nice to see an ADR related book of this type for Mediation and other ADR providers.

4.5 out of 5 stars (28)
Excerpt - Front Cover: "... Becoming a Category of One How Extraordinary Companies Transcend Commodity and Defy Comparison 2nEr Editiol ..."Surprise me! See a random page in this book.

I should note that I enjoy reviewing books. Occasionally I get sent review copies of books that I really don't like or that don't speak to me. For example, The No Complaining Rule: Positive Ways to Deal with Negativity at Work by Jon Gordon really seemed too short to me.

But, it was just the right length for my boss to borrow and read it (she is sometimes pressed for time, already workign 70 hours a week and a daughter who is an elite skater). Amazingly, I actually kept it on my desk for a couple of months, in the vertical position, so that anyone walking in my office would be confronted by it. I'd say it reduced some complaining by 90% or better just by people reading the title every time they came in my office to complain.

The book really worked, just from people having to confront the title.