Today I’m pleased to share a guest post by Frank Sonnenberg. It’s an excerpt from his latest book, Leadership by Example: Be a role model who inspires greatness in others.

If you want to WOW someone, do something unexpected rather than ordinary. After all, you’d never get excited for receiving a paycheck for the correct amount. You assume it’ll be right. The same holds true for other areas of your life.

If you want to cut through the clutter, make a big splash, or leave a lasting impression, you can’t just do something humdrum, routine, or one-size-fits-all — your deed must be unique, unanticipated, and noteworthy.

You’ll never excite someone by doing something unexciting.

How to WOW Someone

If you simply go through the motions, implement as instructed, or do what’s expected of you, your actions will be greeted with a yawn. On the other hand, if you do something unusual and unexpected, you’ll catch the recipient off guard, and unleash that WOW factor.

Here are 25 guiding principles to WOW someone:

  • Show initiative before being asked.
  • Under-promise and over-deliver.
  • Put other’s needs ahead of your own.
  • Surprise! Do something nice when it’s least expected.
  • Give from the heart rather than writing a check.
  • Raise your hand when no one volunteers.
  • Take care of your employees before they announce their departure.
  • Point out problems, even small ones, before people discover them.
  • Shine the spotlight on someone unexpectedly — rather than during a formal, designated time.
  • Be generous without expecting anything in return.
  • Be kind to people who are in no position to help you.
  • Strive for win-win relationships — not winner takes all.
  • WOW people by the way you serve a meal — in addition to the meal itself.
  • Whoop it up and celebrate, for no reason at all.
  • Go out of your way to help a stranger.
  • Do what’s right even though it may negatively impact you.
  • Keep your promise — no matter what the cost.
  • Be a loyal friend when the chips are down.
  • Avoid using your authority — even though you have it.
  • Show appreciation rather than taking things for granted.
  • Run toward a problem rather than kicking the can down the road.
  • Keep your word — that means big promises AND small ones too!
  • Tell it like it is — even when the truth hurts.
  • Be the first to give.
  • Stand up for what’s right — even if you’re the lone voice.
The Importance of Exceeding Expectations

If you’re like most people, you know that exceeding expectations is beneficial, but you dismiss it because you’re busy. Instead of doing things the right way, you go through the motions — settling for unimaginative, uneventful, and uninspiring. Ask yourself, what are the consequences of simply “checking off” things rather than going above and beyond?

It goes without saying that embracing these tenets will boost your reputation, strengthen your relationships, and bolster your career. But that’s not why you should adopt this approach. Exceeding expectations isn’t something that you do. It’s who you are. You may not receive rewards for going the extra mile, but it offers you something more valuable — it will make your heart smile. Just think what the world would be like if everyone lived their life this way. As Jimmy Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn suggested in The Secret of Christmas, “It’s not the things you do, at Christmas time, but the Christmas things you do all year through.”

This post is excerpted from Leadership by Example: Be a role model who inspires greatness in others by Frank Sonnenberg © 2023 Frank Sonnenberg. All rights reserved.

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Frank Sonnenberg is an award-winning author and a well-known advocate for moral character, personal values, and personal responsibility. He has written 10 books and has been named one of “America’s Top 100 Thought Leaders.” Additionally, his blog — FrankSonnenbergOnline — has attracted millions of readers and was recently named one of the “Top Self-Improvement and Personal Development Blogs” in the world and one of the “Best Inspirational Blogs On the Planet.” Frank’s newest book, Leadership by Example: Be a role model who inspires greatness in others, was released June 13, 2023.

Image courtesy of Pixabay.