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Outliers – How To Make It As One

October 2, 2012

Seth Godin published a thought provoking post on his blog regarding Outliers.  He says If you want to be an outlier then try not to become one…at least among your peers.  Now that made me sit up and go…hmm!

As a teenager I had a green muscle t-shirt, that I wore with pride.  On the front was an image of 100 identical faces looking up, in the midst of them was a single face that was different.  The caption on the shirt read “Dare To Be Different”.

Many moons later I still remember that shirt because that’s how I saw myself then (and now).  You know, someone who’s not scared to stand out in the crowd.

But if you want to be successful at standing out in the crowd it doesn’t really work. Instead outliers surround themselves with crowds of like minded people…so they don’t stand out among a group of close peers.

Because of the ability of groups to exert influence over individuals, success often comes in bunches.  Seth states that breakthroughs in music, architecture, software, athletics, fashion and cuisine come in bunches, often geographic.

I thought about Ohio and it’s overall influence on music.  It’s the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  It’s also the home of four major symphony orchestras located in Cleveland, Akron, Cincinnati, and Dayton. A whole boatload of singers hale from Ohio including Dean Martin, Morris Day (COOL), The Isley Brothers, Marlyin Manson, Chrisse Hynde, and The Pretenders.

Additionally Ohio is home to all of the hottest funk bands of the 80’s. They include Bootsy’s Rubber Band, The Ohio Players (of course), Lakeside, Slave, Heatwave, Sun, The Dazz Band, Faze O, Zapp, and Roger Troutman.

Even an ordinary guy like my good friend Don Graves, living in Philly now but grew up in the Cincinnati area plays 6 different instruments…(well).  I wonder if he’s ever considered the effect that his geography has had on him.

Looking to take your game to the next level…then get around some folks pushing as hard or harder than you are.

It’s like my mama used to say ‘birds of a feather flock together’.

Photo Credit: Wave / Particle / Pixel via Compfight cc

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