A recent employer asked job seekers the following riddle:
"You are driving along in your car on a wild, stormy night. You pass by a bus stop and you see three people waiting for the bus:
1. An old lady who looks as if she is about to die.
2. An old friend who once saved your life.
3. The perfect man (or) woman you have been dreaming about.
Which one would you choose to offer a ride, knowing that there could only be one passenger in your two-seat car?"
Take a minute to think before you continue reading
You could pick up the old lady, because she is going to die, and thus you should save her first; or you could take the old friend because he once saved your life, and this would be the perfect chance to pay him back. However, you may never be able to find your perfect dream lover again.
The candidate who was hired (out of 200+ applicants) demonstrated his creativity: "I would give the car keys to my old friend, and let him take the lady to the hospital. I would then stay behind and wait for the bus with the woman of my dreams."
Now more than ever, we must stand out in order to win. Accordingly, creativity has become the critical ingredient. It is the difference-maker on challenges big and small; the deciding factor in landing the job, winning the client, and even getting the girl.
We all struggle through a series of decisions and dilemmas, the solutions of which become the measure of our success. Sure, you can follow the herd and go with conventional wisdom but that's just a surefire path to mediocrity.
To seize the lion's share in both business and life, you must unleash your imagination. Inventing the never-been-done-before will capture the hearts of your customers and team members, while the me-too players shrug their shoulders with frustration and despair.
Forgo the bland vanilla stew of the masses in order to savor a feast of originality. Break free from the pressures to fit in, knowing that your dreams will only be reached by standing boldly for your own passionate and unique ideas.
Stop conforming and start creating. It's time to stand up and stand out.