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Senior Correspondent

Conform! If you don’t fit in you’re a dangerous lose cannon. Fit in before standing out.

Conformity opens the door for your creativity.


John Spence told me he’s seen hotshots arrive on the scene with MBAs from top universities. John said, “That piece of paper doesn’t mean sh**.”

Shut up:

Speaking too soon destroys opportunity.

Unbridled enthusiasm for your talent, education, and ideas is a problem I see all the time.

Humble yourself and engage in projects you feel are “below” you. I never trust new people who don’t appreciate the value of current opportunities. They’ll bail out when they don’t get their way.

Earn your place by fitting in.

Grab an oar:

From a leadership point of view, I won’t commit to you until I believe you’re committed to my organization, period. Prove your commitment by grabbing an oar and rowing in synch.

Have you ever asked a hotshot to do something they felt was below them? Did they seem reluctant because it’s wasn’t a big enough opportunity? Somehow it’s OK for you to do it but it’s below them. How stupid is that?

You can’t earn opportunities by rejecting opportunities.


Perhaps the terms alignment and channeling feel better than conformity to hotshots and firecrackers. Align your talents and channel your creativity. Think of your organization as a river. Don’t divert it; jump in. Increase the established flow.

“What you believe to be important isn’t as important as what the CEO thinks is important.” Mike Myatt

Alignment (conformity) builds opportunity.

Myatt continues, “You don’t want to be perceived as working outside the system, or against the system. Rather you want to use the system to your advantage.”


More tomorrow and thanks to (Listed in order of their interview):

Doug Conant
John Bell
Steve Farber
John Spence
Mike Myatt
Facebook contributors
John Bernard


How do you see the tension between fitting in and standing out?

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