“I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” Bonnie Ware, Top Five Regrets of the Dying.
Stop working so hard to fit in.
What is your unique contribution? What do you have that others don’t?
Conformity makes you average. Otherness makes you remarkable.
We fear that which makes us unique. Sadly, fitting in incapacitates exceptional contribution.
Conformity and similarity:
Organizations require conformity. Rules enable teams to function, innovate, and perform.
“Birds of a feather flock together.” Connection accelerates when someone says, “You started a business? So did I.”
Conformity – shared values or experiences, for example – make you reasonably predictable.
Similarity is foundation to connection, but uniqueness empowers meaningful contribution.
Uniqueness within conformity:
All golfers play the same game. But there are individual ways to play the game.
Everyone in your organization plays the same game. Absolute uniqueness makes you irrelevant. Shared mission gives meaning and power to uniqueness. But being unique within represents exceptional potential.
Conformity enables connection. Uniqueness empowers contribution.
4 things you have that others don’t:
- Introversion or extroversion.
- Optimistic or pessimistic.
- Free spirited or methodical.
- Pushy or agreeable.
- Flexible or rigid.
#2. First inclinations.
How do you naturally respond to new ideas, for example? Many give reasons new ideas won’t work. But a few find reasons new ideas will work. How might you maximize that difference?
How might you integrate your personal story into your leadership? The things you wish to hide may reflect points of deep connection and your power of greatest contribution.
Story enhances contribution.
What makes people unique?
How might leaders maximize the power of uniqueness within conformity?