"When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way,

you will command the attention of the world."
-- George Washington Carver


Let's face it. It's easier to go along with the crowd than be a maverick. It's easier to blend in than stand out. It's less stressful and causes fewer problems.

But only in the short run.

To really make a difference in the workplace we have to be able to confront the tough issues. We have to be able to set boundaries and challenge the common wisdom -- or lack thereof.

Sure, you can keep your head down, avoid conflict, play safe and try to be invisible, but that's no way to create breakthroughs. The question is, do you want to be effective or at the effect of everything else?

Caution: Do not take this advice and become abrasive, obnoxious or combative. That's not what I'm talking about.

What I AM talking about is learning how to stand up for yourself and your cause(s). Take a stand, but do it with dignity and professionalism. Far too many people think the only way to get things done is to run rough-shod over others. They think they need to be intimidating to accomplish anything.

This is simply not true.

I love something that Gandhi said: "In a gentle way, you can shake the world." He certainly proved that to be true.

But he didn't liberate India from the powerful English Empire by being a milquetoast, either. He was able to confront effectively, and most of the time, without force or violence.

Where are you hiding out and playing it safe? What do you feel strongly about but are doing nothing about it? This is your life. Are you in the game or are you on the sidelines?

One of the most effective ways to confront issues and individuals is to ask questions. But be careful about this. Eighty percent of all questions are merely statements in disguise. They're used to manipulate and often intimidate.

The key is to tell your truth with compassion. And the more you do it the better you get at it. Yes, there will be times when people will not like what you say. They may even get upset. But if you're respectively making your case with compassion and understanding, you will begin to affect positive change.

You're not obliged to make everyone comfortable. You're paid to impact the world -- not be impacted by it. To do that, you need to be able to address inequities, set boundaries, share your ideas and pursue your passion.

The way I see it, you can create breakthroughs or you can be broken down by the system. There's not much middle ground. I'd rather be accused of coming on too strong than being irrelevant.

Go ahead. Shake things up a bit. Not just to make waves but to make things better.

By Michael Angier, who can be reached at http://SuccessNet.org.
(c) Copyright Success Networks International, Inc.. and Michael Angier.


Last week you identified your unique greatness and identified a step to take you towards your GREAT life.

This week, scan your life. Where are you playing it safe? You may be watching the Super Bowl on Sunday from the sidelines or the couch, but not your life. What step forward will you take this week to play the game fully?

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