If you want to stand out from the crowd, give people a reason not to forget you.
—Sir Richard Branson, investor, author, founder of Virgin Group
Once you've been hired at the start‐up, you won't just float to the top. It's a battle and it requires a lot of effort to swim to the surface. You'll be competing against everyone else in the start‐up world for leadership positions, and the fact is, many of them will have similar skill sets. To stand out from the crowd, you'll need to find new ways to set yourself apart, and one of the best ways to do that is to develop and display strong leadership attributes. Leadership is a multifaceted skill that takes time and effort to learn. What we discussed in the last chapter was just a starting place—to really stand out, you need to develop your ability to ask more questions, take more risks, make tough decisions, and come up with great ideas and execute on them.
As I've mentioned before, you need to have an elevator pitch for yourself that you can roll out in an interview with start‐up leaders. It should take as long as an elevator ride—20 seconds, max, and relay right away why they want to hire you. Make sure it conveys how you provide unique value, and why they should invest in you.
To help you get the content to write this, ask your colleagues, mentors, and friends to describe your most powerful, unique qualities and strengths. While we might have our own idea of what makes ...