As we all know, everybody is unique. But some people are more than others… they stick out, leave their indelible mark even when they don’t want to, and produce outstanding results as well as controversy, sometimes despite their best intentions.
When such an oddity enters an established organization, everybody notices, both upstairs and downstairs, even if the newcomer occupies a small office on the 27th floor, seemingly detached from the overall activity.
If you are such an oddity, provided that you have been repeatedly described as such and do not just believe that you are one, the best you can do is to remain yourself. Trying to blend in or prove that you are just another average folk will fool nobody because you are not convinced about it either.
In addition, by remaining yourself (always within the parameters set by the existing ecosystem regarding good manners, protocols, etc), you send the correct signals to other possible oddities in that environment. And by connecting with other unique professionals like yourself, the possibility for positive impact increases. Gather three or four more for regular meetings or brainstorming over coffee, and good things will happen.
Unfortunately, such oddities are kept apart in most traditional ecosystems despite their long history of proven success. The idea is that it will prove easier to ‘handle’ and optimize such personalities for the collective good, one at a time. And as it has been repeatedly demonstrated in recent years especially, nothing could be further from the truth.
An oddity is not a unique individual, really, since everybody is unique. It is just that their uniqueness is so apparent. Ecosystems that encourage the creation of such internal networks and allow their employees to be themselves thrive.