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Average Is Over And Brilliant Is The Edge – 8 Tips To Get Promoted

Written by: Simon T. Bailey, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


In a world of algorithms, automation, and artificial intelligence, being average is over. Put a fork in it. The world is accelerating faster, and your performance is under an intense microscope. To some degree, employers are using gadgets that we first saw in the 1998 movie Enemy of the State.

Shot of businesspeople applauding a colleague in an office.

These are scary times for some and an era of abundant opportunities for others. According to Goldman Sachs, 300 million jobs could be eliminated. A recent study by OpenAI, the start-up that created ChatGPT, looked at how many tasks could be streamlined, thus replacing human beings with AI. The movie iRobot, which was released in 2004, gave us a snapshot into the future. Well, 19 years later, here we are, my friend.

After working with 2,300-plus organizations in 54-plus countries over the past 20 years, I’ve identified eight characteristics from top performers whom I’ve interviewed that give them a brilliant edge in every economy.











Stuck in status quo

Vuja de

Selective Hearing

Authentic Listening

Holding a Job




Here’s what these brilliant traits mean:

  • Present – Show up early and make a significant contribution, virtually or in person.

  • Collaborate – Always asks to help others. Gives honest and timely feedback. Makes a contribution to an overall project and is often invited to participate in future opportunities.

  • Consistent – Classic “under promise” and “over deliver.”

  • Relational – Seeks to build rapport early and often. Remembers specific details and always adds value.

  • Vuja de – This is the salmon that swims upstream in their thinking. When everyone else is zigging they are zagging. They perfect going the opposite way of popular thinking. They are a disruptor.

  • Authentic listening – Releases the need to be right and honors the other person as they are sharing their journey.

  • Intrapreneur – This word first appeared in the 1970s in corporate hallways. Today, it’s the person who thinks like a start-up. They are scrappy and the risk-takers who are endorsed by the company.

  • Curious – I had a virtual fireside interview with Dr. Francesca Gino, a professor at Harvard Business School, thanks to Credit Union Executive Society (CUES). I asked her what her research showed about people who perform well in the midst of uncertainty. She said they remained curious.

Promotions are given to people who think and work beyond what they are paid to do. AI can’t touch you if you choose to be brilliant.

Follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


Simon T. Bailey, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

SUCCESS magazine calls Simon T. Bailey one of the top 25 people who will help you reach your business and life goals. He joins a list that includes Oprah Winfrey, Brene Brown, and Tony Robbins. Washington Speakers Bureau recognized him as one of the 12 business speakers who emboldened audiences to think big and lead with purpose. Simon was the first Black American sales director for the Disney Institute based at Walt Disney World Resort. Since leaving Disney, he has served more than 2,100 organizations in 50 countries. His three LinkedIn Learning courses have been viewed by 250,000 individuals in 100 countries. He’s also written 10 books and has one of the 100 most-read motivational and successful blogs.



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