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We need to talk about your flair

Standing out in business isn’t complicated and you’ve heard what it takes many times before. It all boils down to this; underpromise and overdeliver. Doing the bare minimum or precisely what’s asked may allow you to get by, but it’s not what creates success. You need to look beyond the basic request or need and go deeper. Whether it’s doing more in depth analysis than requested, creating high quality visuals to support your work, providing solutions when simply asked why a problem occurred, or some other way to go beyond the initial request, you’ll stand out in a sea of mediocre work.

Let’s look at an example.


Request: Send me the top level sales data for the last 6 months from the southeast and northeast regions.


Submission from a person content with their current job


Here’s the data requested.



Submission from a person interested in advancing their career

Hello Stan,

The top level sales data can be found in the table below. I’ve color coded the monthly sales for each region relative to the other sales in that region. Dark green represents the best month of sales for that region and dark red represents the worst month of sales for that region.

Below you will find supporting graphs. My summary is as follows:



The Southeast region is relatively flat over the six month period. Joe’s sales performance is on an upward trend whereas Steve’s sales performance is on a downward trend. It may be worth further investigation to understand if Joe and Steve are servicing different client types that may be contributing to these trends or if Steve may benefit from mentoring from Joe since Steve is new to his position.


The Northeast region is on an upward trend over the six month period. Both Bob and Joe are showing consistent growth.



I’ve included the monthly sales figures along with the % change in monthly sales when compared against the baseline of the sales dollars in May. The intent is to show the deviation in performance (positive or negative) from the May result.

If you have any further questions after reviewing this analysis, please let me know.

Best regards,



You can make a name for yourself by going above and beyond what’s been asked. Doing so (when it makes sense) can be extremely powerful and make a positive impression. Every situation doesn’t require 37 pieces of flair, but look around and you’ll find plenty of opportunities to do great work.

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