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How Do You Stand Out in the Crowd and Not Seem Like a Suck Up?

The best way to stand out among the crowds of smart, driven and talented young professionals around you is to keep your commitments.

Competition in the workplace is fierce among young professionals. More and more people are graduating from college with degrees. The growth of remote work means companies that once only recruited regionally can now look for talent anywhere. Both these dynamics combine to make it hard for someone in their twenties to differentiate themselves from their peers.

“How do I stand out in the crowd and not seem like a suck up?”

Recently I was asked the same thing by a woman getting her bachelor’s degree in business and a man who was in his second year of medical school. I’ve thought about this a lot as I’ve coached people during my corporate days and since I have been consulting and writing.

The best way to stand out among the crowds of smart, driven and talented young professionals around you is to keep your commitments. It is such a rare thing for someone to truly follow through on what they say they are going to do. When someone does, people notice.

Too many people demand Integrity from others but consistently fail to fulfill their own commitments. Right now, at the early stages of your career commitments may look like:

  • Getting reports to your boss on time.

  • Avoiding procrastination when starting projects.

  • Giving periodic progress updates on longer projects.

  • Keeping notes and putting a special mark by the commitments you make.

  • Checking your notes at 4pm so you still have 60 minutes to fulfill any missed commitments.

  • Confirming appointments with co-workers or customers 24 hours before the appointment.

  • Planning to arrive 15 minutes early so you always have a cushion if something goes wrong.

When you make a commitment – large or small – your Integrity is on the line. Keeping your commitments should be the easiest way to exercise Integrity. There is nothing in the list above that is not in your control. But since so few people keep their commitments these days, you will stand out in the crowd of other talented young professionals.

Trust me, older generations are paying attention to the up and coming generation to see who separates themselves from the rest. More often than not there are two obvious groups – the majority that are inconsistent and the minority who keep their commitments and therefore show themselves to be Leaders of Character and the future leaders of the organization.


  • What commitments do you need to get better at fulfilling?

  • How does keeping these commitments impact your Integrity?


“Would you follow you?” That is a critical question we all need to ask ourselves if we want to become Leaders of Character. Research has proven that people want to follow character. But where is your character today? Here is a quick assessment that will take you 5 minutes to figure it out. Nobody will ever see your results but you. Warning: If you are not going to be honest with yourself this is a worthless assessment.

To take the assessment use the QR code above or go to

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