How to stand out in a noisy world

And how you can help your team do the same

Welcome to For Leaders, your go-to source for essential leadership insights and perspectives shaping today's world.

In this week’s newsletter:

  • Strategic Summaries: Key insights and takeaways on the importance of having a point of view

  • Words of Wisdom: A powerful leadership quote to inspire

  • Leaders’ Library: What we’re reading this week

A curated community of leaders.

Strategic Summaries

A weekly roundup of the most interesting, useful and thought-provoking articles to help you be a better leader. This week we’re focusing on having a point of view.

Be bold. In this essay, Srinivas Rao writes about the necessity of having a compelling point of view

Our take: The world is noisy, cluttered, and filled with ideas you can access in an instant or that appear through an algorithm. 

Standing out in the sea of noise is difficult, both as a business and as an individual. Having a unique “point of view” will help you swim against the current and stand out from the crowd.

Otherwise, you may see someone else’s success and assume the same formula will work for you. Rao calls this a “mimicry epidemic” and it’s antithetical to standing out. 

Key takeaway: As Rao writes, “People with a point of view have... built companies that changed the world. If you want to change the world, start by having a point of view.” 


Have a spiky point of view. Wes Kao writes about how to stand out in a noisy world

Our take: Having what Kao calls a “spiky point of view” means communicating a belief that’s rooted in your conviction and authenticity. It needs to be opinionated enough that others can disagree with it, but not contrary just to get attention. 

Kao offers some “templates” to help you create your own. Start with these fill-in-the-blank sentences:  

  • “Stop doing X. Start doing Y.” 

  • "Most people think X. But actually Y." 

  • “The best way to [achieve a goal] is to [do the thing they usually avoid].”  

Key takeaway: It’s also important to know what a spiky point of view is not. While it must be debatable, it should never be controversial for the sake of it or an emotion-fueled opinion. It’s rooted in experience and personality, not whim.   


Increase the “share of voice.” In this video, the hosts talk about the importance of making room for other points of view

Our take: While leaders are responsible for the vision of a business, team members undoubtedly have unique contributions to any strategy or problem. 

When a leader enters a meeting and “prescribes” what needs to happen and how, they are essentially asking their team to follow them without input. 

Think back to the last meeting you led and ask yourself: how much of the meeting was taken up by your own voice? Going forward, try to reduce this and allow other points of view to emerge. 

Key takeaway: This effective approach increases what the hosts call the “Share of Voice.” Better outcomes come from leaders who communicate their vision clearly and then ask their team, “how do you think we can get there?” 

Words of Wisdom

One weekly, impactful quote for leaders.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

Leaders’ Library

Every week, we share an interesting long-form piece of content to contemplate.

Today we’re reading Developing a Point of View by the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford. 

This document covers Point of View, one part of a larger concept called Design Thinking. It’s used in design work but can be helpful for leaders who are constantly faced with new problems to solve in innovative ways.  

One interesting tool is called Powers of 10 – it helps to change your perspective.  

For example: say the problem is represented as a house on Google Earth. Zoom out to see the yard, the neighborhood, the city. And then zoom in to see the exterior paint, the individual rooms, the people living inside.  

Once you’re able to see the house from these differing perspectives, you can then see that fixing one thing affects many others – the challenge is to work through at which ‘power of 10’ perspective it’s optimal to intervene at. 

This deeper way of considering a problem can be used in almost any challenging situation. 

Thanks for reading! We’ll see you next week with more powerful leadership insights and inspiration.

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