Fitting In AND Standing Out
When I was young fitting in meant becoming what others expected. Now I know, fitting in requires knowing yourself not losing yourself.
Leaders and managers who help people fit in create dynamic organizations. But pressure to fit in from immature leaders prevents people from standing out. In those organizations, stand out and you’re out.
Organizations and leaders who demand conformity resemble immature adolescence; they can’t stop thinking about themselves. They cry out, “Love me.”
Outstanding leaders call people to
fit in and stand out.
If all you do is fit in, you’re mediocre. If all you do is stand out, you’re on your own.
Help people fit in by:
- Clearly articulating organizational values, mission, and vision?
- Helping people fit into organizational values and vision? You hired people for the mission.
- Understanding the dynamic of adapting? More adaptation translates into less passion.
- Explaining where you require alignment? Are you communicating that up front?
- Expecting high performance once people understand how they fit in.
Help people stand out by:
- Working to understand their values, hopes, and goals.
- Connecting their values and vision with organizational value and vision.
- Giving choices rather than making demands.
- Establishing career and opportunity paths.
- Developing their skills and exposing their blind spots.
Helping people fit enables them to stand out.
Standing out hinges on how people interact with their environment, colleagues, and clients. Everyone wants to succeed. Helping people remove attitudes and behaviors that hinder their potential often creates greater success.
What can leaders do to help see how they fit in?
What can leaders do to help people stand out?
Leaders can help others stand out by recognizing strengths that they have and encouraging them to use them. I have seen first hand how this will cause them to blossom and become more confident as they too realize their gifts and abilities.
Bravo! Well said! Did you and Seth have a phone conference this morning??!!
Yes! And IMO most important of all (which accomplishes both at once):
– Encourage real engagement on the issues. When differing perspectives are valued and blended, the people who stand out also fit in brilliantly to make the team more effective.
Leaders can help other fit in by giving them the opportunity to develop themselves professionally. They have the right skills to feel confident contributing their best job, which ultimately gives them a sense of accompishment.
In a strange ununderstandable way most managers seem to be scared by people who stand out.
sometimes a person isn’t a good fit, and you are helping them by letting them move on.
Brilliant differentiation between fitting in (feeling welcome, being in alignment) and conforming. I love that you see it is possible to fit in AND stand out!
I think leaders can encourage BOTH fitting in and standing out by showing value for the TEAM as a unit, while also making sure each member knows the strengths s/he brings to the table… don’t assume they know. The team members that are not reinforced for their strengths may stop those behaviors and try to become like every one else… losing the advantage of the team.
Great posts, but please run spellcheck! I get distracted from what you say by the confusion of random punctuation or no punctuation. I understand that youʻre enthusiastic, but this lack of attention to detail takes away from your voice.
Thank you for reminding of us this. So many people fall into the trap of fitting in while so many others do everything to be renegades/challenging the status quo.
I do feel that one must discover a harmony between these in order to express true leadership and be a transpersonal leader.
It is indeed a challenge, but an exciting one!
Cheers, (great blog by the way)
It is easy to help employees fit in and stand out when you hire for competence and talent and then manage them effectively.
Too many people are managers and executives for the wrong reasons such as; pay, bonuses, control, ego, power, respect, titles.
People should be managers and executives if they are well-suited to manage and well-prepared to manage, most are not.