Embrace Your Misfits
In many teams and organisations, there are misfits, people that are not the same as everybody else, they are different. Possibly outspoken, with behaviour that stands out, they think differently and can have unusual backgrounds. Often, asking difficult questions, they might just be addressing the elephant in the room.
Potentially, they could be really clever, but they come off as perhaps disjointed and out of place. This can be really uncomfortable, especially for the leader of the team or the company. It can feel like they are dealing with challenges to their authority, to their ideas. It takes a really confident leader to say to themselves ‘Hey I’m okay with these outsides of the box questions.’
Leaders that don’t need everyone in the room to be the same. That they can deal with this diversity, as a team we can appreciate each other for our differences. For what each other brings.
There is nuggets of gold when you look into these misfits, I have been fortunate to work with lots of different teams. These people can shine a light on areas of opportunity, areas of shortcoming. Their input can help they can help the whole team, to energise them, to create debate, getting different perspectives. To take a different approach.
When circumstances change, it is possible to deal with them better. There is the old adage, don’t expect to get a different result doing the same thing. They can help us find new ways to do things.
So who is a bit different in your team?
I loved reading Seth Godin taking about Pythagoras, who studied a group of blacksmiths, there was five of them, each having a different hammer. They created a remarkable sound. Four of them were all related to each other, proportionately similar to each other. However, the fifth, Pythagoras disregarded as a ring in, it was not similar to the others. But it gave the collection of hammers something special, something unique, when they were used together.
‘It’s the unlikely approaches-the odd combinations that come from diversity-that often win the day…If enough peculiar people get together, something new is going to happen…In a world that is changing faster than ever, that distinct skill set and point of view are precisely what we need from you.’ Seth Godin
Happy to discuss if desired.
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