Do You Have the “X” Factor?


It’s that time of year when millions of Americans (including myself) faithfully tune in each week to watch and vote for their favorite contestants on shows like American Idol and The Voice. Our culture has become obsessed with these types of reality talent competitions. The television ratings alone prove that there’s “something” that draws viewers into the stories and characteristics of the contestants. Usually, we end up rooting for that interesting individual whose life story is both compelling and genuine. But even more, audiences are most captivated by rare and unique talent that stands out from the crowd.

As I listen to the critiques of the judging panels on these types of shows, one thing is consistent: The judges often plead for the contestants to stand apart from the group. Rarely do we hear a judge’s feedback that compliments a copycat performance. On the contrary, they (and we) crave something “different” from the contestants. In the same way, great leaders should stand out from the crowd. If we (Millennials) desire to truly make a difference in this world, then we must embrace the unique characteristics that make us “different” or set apart from the norm.

In a world where it’s easier to conform and blend into the background, are you striving to be set apart? I challenge you to raise the bar with the talent, skill, and passion you bring to your work and mission. Here are five practical ways to “stand out” and captivate others as a leader:

Listen more, talk less.

Invest in the people around you.

Lead by serving.

Go the extra mile.

And…always give the glory to God.


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