To me, one of the most fun things about an emerging business is figuring out how to assemble the unique talent that will make up the team. The differences each person brings to the table are crucial to the success of the venture. But it can be difficult sometimes to understand where an individual fits in, especially if the person has a different perspective or an unusual skill set (or let’s face it, maybe they are just difficult to get along with.) However, if you embrace unique differences, you might find that it can strengthen your team.
It’s easy to dismiss someone who is quirky and different. In reality, you should embrace the differences they bring and find where that role is best watered, or encouraged to bloom.
Yep! Embracing all of our glorious differences is a critical component of always moving forward and keeping that smile on––keeping that positive attitude, keeping the energy going. It creates a situation where people want to hang around you, and that might allow you to move a stalled project forward or even see opportunity that others miss. It may sound crazy, but your crazy friends or colleagues might just be the thing that gives you that skip in your step, and makes you seem to just float above all the noise.
The message here is no that matter how difficult it may be, make sure you embrace the unique differences of those around you and include their perspective on your development teams. Include all those crazy, brilliant, dyslexic, old, young, tatted, and pierced people in your life. Don’t go for the easy, homogenized group that gets along and makes your leadership life easy, because you won’t get to the same value proposition with that group as you will with a more difficult, eclectic group.
It is our personal responsibility to create a situation with the ability to embrace the unique differences and special contributions of others. I believe we all have it within us to do this. We all really know what our role is, or at least we should, even if others don’t really understand it and if we don’t vocalize it. Not speaking up when we think we should is just as bad as when a leader does not recognizing the value of uniqueness. It is our responsibility to work on solving big social and societal problems and to celebrate the quirky and different people that we may have assembled.
So I think the idea in this blog really ties back to the Weldo blog I published last week. (Thank you, BTW, for the feedback. Loved it and yes, it was Weldo, not Waldo.) But that distinction is exactly what got me thinking about the subtle differences we all have. Do we embrace the unique differences that we have and enjoy them, or do we hide from them? More importantly, do we celebrate the quirks, idiosyncrasies, and differences of our friends, family and co-workers? Have we encouraged them to build on those difference and not hide from them?
Here’s an example… Today, I had a call with a very accomplished CEO who is stumbling with the personalities and quirkiness of a new emerging industry and the people involved. (Ok, ok, if you want to know, the name of this industry rhymes with “hot.” Get it? Yep, you got it!)
Anyway, It really isn’t an industry, per say. We call it the “Hey, bro” community because most of the conversations we’ve had about it start with “Hey, bro.” Yep, not kidding! But with that said, if you are a serious player and want to be part of a build-to-a-50-billion-dollar business, you have to embrace the “Hey, bros,” all of the quirky, crazy, eccentric Doers who have been “blazing” the trail of this “budding” industry. (Yes, puns intended.)[tweetthis]Embrace unique differences and encourage others to be their best extraordinary self.[/tweetthis]
Now, I am not saying that embracing and enjoying them means that you have to include them in your specific business plan, but you should learn from them and you should celebrate them and realize the role they play. We need to embrace unique differences we find in others as a way to expand and encourage those around us to be their very best special, extraordinary self.
Here is where this idea gets a little funky, so I’m warning you up front. This is why I believe we should always recognize how incredible and extraordinary every individual around us is, whether it is a family member, a colleague or someone that is dependent on us or vice versa. When you recognize how important the people around you are––and they may be the most contentious, difficult person you can imagine––the closer you are to embracing the differences that might make or break a venture. No matter how different or crazy thinking they may be, or how extemporaneous they may seem to the development of an industry or project, the closer you should keep them.
So celebrate everyone’s differences and encourage them to celebrate their differences, too! Encourage them to exhibit their quirks, not hide them. If you are the alpha dog, protect them. We need those extraordinary differences to accomplish major things in a unique and different way. We need them today more than ever. In fact this is a call to all the crazy, eccentric people out there to realize that the societal/social/environmental and other problems we have will not be solved without your contribution.
So what major societal/social/environmental problem are you going to solve for? Who do you know right now that may be able to make an important contribution? It could be someone that you have shunned over the years because of their difficult, overbearing behavior or ideas that just didn’t jive with yours.
So your challenge is to write down the major problem you are going to address and reach out to that person or persons right now. Tell them you are going to solve for our broken food system, serving the underserved, or our health care system, or whatever your heart feels lead to do. Reach out to them, tell them what you are solving for and that you need their help now, and that you think they are uniquely equipped to help you.
Yep! Is your heart beating faster just thinking about it? YEAH! Embrace that funky craziness, and put it to work on your behalf. It will fuel your project. The world will get bigger and more exciting and together you and those unique people on your team have a good chance at being part of the solution to a major problem. That’s just the way it was meant to be!
Hey, bro, rock on––