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Early in her career, an up-and-coming leader was selected to complete a special project.

It was a stretch assignment so, with some fear and trepidation, she jumped in. Against the odds, it was delivered on time and with the highest quality.

A few months later, a near-perfect role that required this critical new knowledge became available, and she took another chance. The new role was charged with a seemingly insurmountable, never before achieved BHAG (big hairy aggressive goal).

After accepting the position, she found out it was also one of the key strategic initiatives for the company that year. The pressure was on but, again, she dug deep and delivered.

This year, if you seek to stand out—to outperform—find an opportunity that scares you and aligns with your company strategy. Think of it as an equation: 

Outperformance Graphics

High performers typically outperform their peers by having over two times the impact, depending upon their scope of responsibility or strategic project. In a meritocracy, that can lead to promotions, higher raises, higher bonuses, and greater responsibility. 

Here are three key tips to get started:

1. Set An Incredibly High Goal And Delta

If you want to stand out, do what matters by seeking opportunities that have the greatest delta or have never been done before.

I remember my first ‘delta’ project. It was early in my career, and I accepted the challenge of taking a program from #10 to #1 in the industry within 12 months.

Did I have all the knowledge?


Did I have the ambition to figure it out?


Did I have a great leader?


So put yourself out there. You will figure it out. Especially if you do your best work under pressure, and the result will make a difference.  

2. Align Your Goal To The Company Strategy And Unique Brand Purpose, Or ‘Why’

Strategic execution is a primary concern of CEOs today.


Because over 90% of their company strategies are not successfully executed

Here’s how you can affect your company’s strategy:

As you establish goals for 2024, find that high-priority opportunity that aligns to a key company strategy, and then it execute flawlessly. And most importantly, when you communicate to others regarding the project, share the strategy first, then your goal, and then your tactics.

Keep your outcomes constantly aligned to the company ‘why’ and strategy, and you’ll reap exponential benefits for all involved while setting yourself apart by thinking—and acting—like a key executive. 

Related Read: How To Develop an HR Strategy: A Comprehensive Guide

3. Make It Your Mission

You will hear successful people advise others to "Follow your passion."

Although it sounds a bit fluffy, here’s why it’s true: you will perform at your best when the goal or project becomes a personal mission that ignites that passion inside you, a passion where that illuminates and uses your unique talent and gifts.

Passion is the fuel that will help you grow, generate your best ideas, and sustain you during seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Passion tells you that you can and keeps you motivated when all else looks like you can’t.

How do you find that passion?

Through opportunities, experiences, and reflection. Ask yourself and others close to you, “What am I consistently good at?” or “What was it about that job or project that made me want to get up in the morning?”

Those key questions will help you begin identifying your passion. 

Who Dares Wins

One key piece of insight: don’t underestimate the amount of courage a strategic project or role will take because if everyone were already doing it, it would be easy.

There will be setbacks, speedbumps, and others who may try to derail your efforts. Anticipating and planning for those risks & barriers (the denominator) will be critical to your success.  

In my next post, we’ll focus on what those barriers are, why they happen, to whom, and how you can navigate them while keeping your eye focused on the result.

Until then, start creating your success by identifying and planning your outsized opportunity for 2024.

Want to get a head-start?

Listen to my podcast with Tim, where we cover today’s workplace barriers and how to overcome them, and get all the details on today’s biggest derailers and how to successfully navigate them with a copy of “Winning the Talent Shift: Three Steps to the New High Performance Workplace.”

Suggested Read: Types Of HR Software: Key Features And Benefits

By Berta Aldrich

Berta Aldrich is the author of “Winning the Talent Shift: Three Steps to Unleashing the New High-Performance Workplace,” rated #1 book to buy on Company Culture and #3 on Customer Experience by Bookauthority. As an award-winning C-suite executive leader turned coach, keynote speaker, and author, she teaches executives at the most highly regarded companies how to turn their unique strategy and purpose into tangible outperformance. Find more on her website.