If you’re trying to earn the respect of an employer, you must divorce yourself from the idea that you’re not allowed to have an independent perspective on how the business is run. As companies grow larger and inefficiencies are magnified, you are actually doing your company a disservice by not speaking up when you spot something being done in a way that wastes precious time and resources.
If you’re trying to win the business of a prospective customer, one way to differentiate yourself from the competition is by highlighting your unique perspective on the marketplace. If your firm operates by principles like “SEO is evil” or “having Twitter and Facebook accounts are massive misappropriations of client resources” then speak up! It may be tempting to jump at every client request, but far more important in my mind is providing leadership with conviction.
The same is true in relationships. There’s the prevailing notion that women go after bad boys and athletes and musicians…but I think the attraction (which goes both ways) is a simple gravitation towards people who stand for something.