OK so I’m biased.
Well I don’t mean to be, but I am. Worse, I think I am less biased than most. But then, I’m biased.
I love the anecdote of the medical professor presenting himself to a rather erudite audience and saying “statistically speaking 50% of this room are practitioners who are worse than the average”, to which the response was flat denial, loud guffaws and probably outright terror from some.
We all like to think we are someone else at times. Not just average, and certainly not less than average.
And maybe a sure sign of this for me is when I see someone being different I say to myself “Go you good thing”, knowing that I no longer have the courage or motivation to “dance like nobody is watching” (other than to make my children laugh”).
The reality is I like to think I don’t conform, but I do, lots.
And because I do, how much of me have I lost, how much of we have we lost, and how much real leadership have we lost?
I expect the answer would terrify us.
Which is why I say “go you good thing” (but not yet so anyone can hear), why I look for the lights in the eyes, the mischief, the different view, the person who snubs etiquette, the noise, the silence, the independent thinker, the colour, the quiet withdrawal from boorish company and I celebrate the difference and know there is better to come.
It is also why I am terrified. Because I am unsure where we grow this, I know we are poor at supporting it, and I am sure we seldom celebrate it.
For me it takes “different” to make “exceptional” otherwise the best you can be is very good at what someone else has already done.
Part of the challenge is picking the right “different”. ‘Me too’ and pretenders only get in the way and make the road harder for those with something truly valuable to offer.
What differences make a difference to you?
How could we support them?
Do you have your own story of being different and getting so frustrated you lost your ‘zing’?
I’m interested to hear.