Standing Out Means You Don’t Fit

The dark side of passion is frustration, even anger. Zeal includes being for and against. Greater fervency for something fuels greater fervency against its opposite.

I asked Claire Diaz-Ortiz, Head of Corporate Social Innovation and Philanthropy at Twitter, Inc., if frustration drives leaders. She’s more comfortable being motivated to make things better than attacking what is bad. There is, on the other hand, a negative side to positive motivation.

Meetings and memos:

The dark side of making things better is identifying and rejecting broken things. Leaders are disruptors who seek solutions. Claire comfortably embraces tradition breaking. She believes many patterns we cling to hold us back, meetings for example. The way we run meetings – even having them – is steeped in inefficient traditions that waste time. “Many meetings could be replaced with a well written memo.


Claire hates inefficiency and waste. She loves productivity. She believes in multi-tasking, however. She admits research suggests multi-tasking isn’t efficient but does it anyway. Furthermore, she writes multi-tasking to-do lists. For example, watch a TV show and answer email.

I’ve never heard of a multi-tasking to-do list. Have you?


On the other hand, Claire turns off electronic devices for at least an hour a day. During that time she takes out old fashioned paper and pen. “There’s something refreshing about blank white paper.”

Breaking Traditions:

If this all sounds nontraditional, it is. I asked her what’s behind her interest in tradition breaking. She believes living on four continents and traveling the world since her teens frees her to explore her own path.

What nontraditional leadership/management activities or attitudes do you embrace?


Claire wrote: “Twitter for Good: Changing the World One Tweet at a Time.”

I posted her best Twitter Tips on Social Media Freak: “Best Twitter Tips From Claire Diaz-Ortiz.”