How do you stand out from the crowd?

Today is March 28 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is “how do you stand out from the crowd?”

If you are looking for a job, working on getting promoted, or trying to convince someone of your idea you will need to work hard at helping people see your value.

As New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman wrote “Being average just won’t earn you what it used to…everyone needs to find their unique value contribution that makes them stand out in their field of employment.” In his book Brand Against the Machine, author John Morgan agreed with Friedman and said it was important to “Define yourself and your purpose. Broadcast your strengths. Give people a reason to pay attention to you. The only people who stand out are those who want to.”

Writer Theodor Seuss Geisel is one such example. Dr. Seuss’ books provide one example of standing out from the crowd. In May 1954, Life magazine published a report on illiteracy that concluded children were not learning to read because their books were boring. William Ellsworth Spaulding was the director of the education division at Houghton Mifflin and compiled a list of 348 words that he felt were important for first graders to recognize.

He asked Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss) to cut the list to 250 words and to write a book using only those words. Spaulding challenged Geisel to "bring back a book children can't put down.” Nine months later, Geisel completed The Cat in the Hat, using 236 of the words given to him. It retained the drawing style, verse rhythms, and all the imaginative power of Geisel's earlier works but, because of its simplified vocabulary, it could be read by beginning readers.

By 2009 some of Seuss’s other books had remarkable sales including Green Eggs and Ham 540,366 copies, The Cat in the Hat 452,258 copies, and One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish 409,068 copies—outselling the majority of newly published children's books.

As Dr. Seuss said “Why fit in when you were born to stand out!” Dr. Seuss stood out from the crowd by writing books children could not put down. What have you done lately to help others understand what makes you stand out from the crowd?