Nobody notices when you do your job well, only when you deviate from the norm. That means that if you want to get noticed you either have to excel at, or screw up, your job. That kinda sucks, but such is life.
Exceeding expectations is incredibly hard, and while we should all aim to do just that, the other alternative is to at least stand out.
One of my favorite artists, Jeff Koons, started as a clerk at the membership desk of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Folklore has it that he quickly became one of the best selling employees to ever work there. He dyed his hair red and cultivated a Salvador Dali-esque moustache. He’d show up at the museum in outlandish outfits, and people would drop by just to see what he looked like that day. He took a job as boring as help desk, and turned it into a show.
We’re currently organizing an event, and it isn’t sufficient enough to just do everything perfectly – we need to think about how to excel, surprise, and please our audience beyond what they’ve come to expect. That’s more than just surpassing presumptions. It means doing things well, and then transforming the process into something entirely different.
I think about this in everything I do. I don’t just want to do well, but give it the extra attention to verge a bit differently. How do you exceed expectations? How do you apply this to your daily life?