I’m sure by now you’ve seen the photos, if not read the article about the Japanese team at the World Cup, and their fans.
If you haven’t, the gist of it is this; even after a gut-wrenching defeat, the team thanked their fans, spoke to the media, cleaned their own locker room, and left a thank you note for their Russian hosts. The fans likewise, cleaned up their section of the stands being heading out, even as they cried over the loss.
It’s gone absolutely viral, and as much as people are impressed by it and want to share, it’s also gone viral because it’s pretty freaking shocking!
But what really happened?
1. They showed up for their fans, and for their media appearances.
2. They cleaned up after themselves.
3. They expressed gratitude in very concrete ways. Walking over to their fans, and leaving a note for their hosts.
4. They acted with maturity, and professionalism even when things didn’t go their way.
I would be willing to wager that if you did those 4 seemingly simple things in your workplace, you’d stand out too. Maybe it wouldn’t go viral, but you’d stand out for one simple reason.
Not very many people are willing to put even that much effort in. Show up for everything. Clean up your own messes. Express gratitude. Act professionally even if things don’t go your way.
How many people fit that description? It’s not even all that complicated, anyone could do it, but so few bother to. I’ve seen it, and when I have it stands out, for all the right reasons as opposed to what makes too many people stand out in their careers. It also inspires me to be better when I see it. That’s how to truly have an impact.