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Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It Hardcover – April 21, 2015

4.6 out of 5 stars 326 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


“For those just starting a career or trying to reinvent themselves, this book is a great choice. The ideas presented are practical ways of establishing your brand and your influence as an expert.”
Library Journal
Stand Out] provides an almost painless way to uncover and build your 'brand.’”

“It’s easy to admire a thought leader; it’s much harder to become one.
Stand Out illuminates
the path. With compelling advice from many of the world’s top influencers, as well as her own impressive journey, Dorie Clark has written a highly accessible book that’s both informative and motivating.”
Adam Grant, Wharton professor of psychology and author of Give and Take

“This is the book for you if you are starting any kind of personal, professional, or societal movement. Clark has penned a breakthrough process for taking your big idea from infancy to maturity. Read this book and your revolution will be officially in motion. Highly recommended.”
Michael Port, author of Book Yourself Solid

“In today’s crowded marketplace, having a great résumé or business idea is not enough to be successful. In
Stand Out, Dorie Clark clearly and powerfully teaches you how to become a recognized expert in your field, leading to more opportunities, income, and impact in the world.”
Pamela Slim, author of Body of Work

“This isn’t another book about marketing. It’s a book about how to develop an idea and a voice powerful enough to deserve a powerful following and real influence. It’s about how to stand out in the ways that matter.”
Ryan Holiday, author of The Obstacle Is the Way and Growth Hacker Marketing

“Dorie Clark has developed an engaging resource to differentiate yourself in today’s marketplace. From finding your niche, or big idea, to building your audience, Clark effortlessly guides you through the process to inspire others.”
Keith Ferrazzi, author of Never Eat Alone and Who’s Got Your Back

“Dorie Clark is a thought leader in how to be a thought leader. She’s an expert in how to be an expert. Her book offers clear tips on how to stand out, whether you’re a blogger, a rocket designer, or a laundry machine reviewer.”
A. J. Jacobs, author of The Know-It-All

From the Inside Flap

Too many people believe that if they keep their heads down and work hard, they'll be recognized on the merits of their work. But that's simply not true anymore. "Safe" jobs disappear daily, and the clamor of everyday life drowns out ordinary contributions. To make a name for yourself, to create true job security, and to make a difference in the world, you have to share your unique perspective and inspire others to take action. But in a noisy world where it seems everything's been said--and shouted from the rooftops--how can your ideas stand out? 

Fortunately, you don't have to be a genius or a worldwide superstar to make an impact. Drawing on interviews with more than fifty thought leaders in fields ranging from business to genomics to urban planning, Dorie Clark shows how these masters achieved success and how anyone--with hard work--can do the same. Whether it's learning to ask the right questions, developing and building on an expert niche, or combining disparate fields to get a new perspective, Clark outlines ways to develop the ideas that set you apart.

Of course, having a breakthrough insight is only half the battle. If you really want to share your ideas, you have to find a way to build an audience, communicate your message, and inspire others to embrace your vision. Starting small is fine; Clark provides a step-by-step guide to help you leverage your existing networks, attract new people to your cause, and, ultimately, build a community around your ideas.

Featuring vivid examples based on interviews with influencers such as Seth Godin, David Allen, and Daniel Pink, Clark shows you how to break through and ensure your ideas get noticed. Becoming a thought leader, in your company or in your profession, is the ultimate career insurance. But--even more important--it's also a chance to change the world for the better. Whatever your cause, perspective, or point of view, the world can't afford for the best ideas to remain buried inside you. Whether it's how to improve the educational system or how to make your company more efficient, your ideas matter. The world needs your insights, and it's time to be bold.
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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Portfolio (April 21, 2015)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 224 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1591847400
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1591847403
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 12 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.68 x 0.91 x 8.56 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 326 ratings

About the author

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Dorie Clark is the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Long Game, Entrepreneurial You, Reinventing You, and Stand Out, which was named the #1 Leadership Book of the Year by Inc. magazine.

She helps individuals and companies get their best ideas heard in a crowded, noisy world. She has been named one of the Top 50 business thinkers in the world by Thinkers50 and was honored as the #1 Communication Coach in the world by the Marshall Goldsmith Leading Global Coaches Awards .

A keynote speaker who teaches executive education for Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and Columbia Business School, Clark has been described by the New York Times as an “expert at self-reinvention and helping others make changes in their lives.” She is a frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review, and you can download her free Long Game strategic thinking self-assessment at

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
326 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on April 27, 2015
Customer image
5.0 out of 5 stars One Book, Hundreds of Actionable Tips
By regina lewis on April 27, 2015
I was a big buyer of Dorie's first book "Reinventing You." Gave it to clients, passed it out in personal & professional branding workshops & it even became my go-to graduation gift. "Stand Out" is even better & more versatile. Am about to order dozens of copies ... Here's why:

Dorie is exceptionally talented at synthesizing a lot of information and surfacing sometimes counter-intuitive advice that -- if applied -- can be a true differentiator. You could read & watch hundreds of articles and videos re: personal and professional branding; succeeding in an increasingly competitive workforce; joyfully achieving; the power of networking, etc., etc., ..... or you can lose yourself in "Stand Out" for a weekend and fundamentally shift and modernize your approach and drill down on actionable takeaways. As you can see from photo of my personal copy, there's a lot of notable & inspiring advice. Here's some quick, excerpted notes that don't do the book justice, but should give you a feel for the content.

-- Standing out is no longer optional (insert). It's not something we have to do. It's something we get to do.
-- You don't have to be a superstar, but you do have to be deliberate. The competition is fierce, but if you even begin to develop thought leadership, you'll dramatically outpace your competitors, most of whom never even try (page 8).
-- It starts with building a base of supporters who believe in you personally (page 11).
-- The best way to develop a reputation as an authority in your field is by staying on top of trends (page 27).
-- Particularly fresh insights sometimes come from people with eclectic backgrounds (page 28).
-- Some of the best ideas take time, even years, to percolate (page 31).
-- Narrowcast: Instead of developing a broad theory ... become the go-to authority on a particular slice that has been overlooked (page 33).
-- Let the market decide (page 38).
-- You don't need to be the best in the world; you just need to be the best one there. You can be a big fish in a little pond and if you're the biggest fish in that environment, you get bigger .... (page 39).
-- Niche Down. The overly modest are concerned they're not really experts, and the renaissance people don't want to feel trapped, but developing a niche is often the fastest ticket to expanding into adjacent areas (page 40).
-- Think about who needs your skills and approach, but doesn't typically have access to them (page 43).
-- One of the best ways to develop your niche is through creating your own personal curriculum (page 44).
-- Power of "Halo Effect" -- because you're already perceived as good at one thing -- people generalize and think you're brilliant overall (page 46).
-- People are hungry for actual data (page 51).
-- Inject fact into conversation (page 55).
-- Bring your whole self to the challenge (page 67).
-- Janusian thinking: Difference becomes your competitive advantage (page 68).
-- There is no longer an airtight distinction between the personal and professional (page 76).
-- Consider cross-disciplinary training (page 78).
-- The more you become yourself ... the greater your chance of doing something different that makes a lasting impact (page 80).
-- Reciprocation, commitment and consistency, social proof, liking, authority and scarcity can motivate others (page 84).
-- Popularize something great that has been under appreciated (page 89).
-- Originality can be overestimated. A lot of thought leaders synthesize (page 92).
-- Create frameworks (page 93).
-- Networking -- when done right -- benefits everyone (page 102).
-- Value of follow-up & timing (page 110).
-- Preparation (page 112).
-- Authenticity (page 117).
-- You're known by the company you keep (page 119).
-- How can I integrate a commitment to service in everything I do? (page 120).
-- Be ruthless in your prioritization (page 137).
-- You can create a powerful community that surrounds you, and is grateful to you, but isn't about you (page 151).
-- In almost every industry there are gaps (page 153).
-- Profoundly fulfilling step -- help teach others how to achieve their goals (page 159).
-- Mindset: constantly learning (page 160).
-- Start your own internship program (page 163).
-- Too often we forget our professional lives can, and should, be joyful (page 166).
-- Make it happen (page 176).
-- Top performers exponentially outwork everyone else (page 193).
-- Pure brute force goes a long way (page 195).
-- The world needs your voice (page 198).

Dorie is, above all else, an optimist. You can't help but have a little extra bounce in your step after reading "Stand Out." Thanks for that!
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on November 29, 2021
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on September 24, 2015
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Top reviews from other countries

5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful Book about Thought Leadership Full of Relevant Cases and Self-Reflective Questions
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on September 19, 2016
One person found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars Practical and inspiring
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on October 19, 2020
Adèle M McLay
5.0 out of 5 stars Her easy to read and implement ideas will have you standing ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on May 3, 2016
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Amzon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read book!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on May 1, 2016
2.0 out of 5 stars Very basic
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on February 24, 2019