May 1, 2021

I only got tired because I was trying to hide


It’s morally incumbent upon us to live up to our uniqueness.

To make meaningful use of everything we are. To humbly and proudly return the product that we’ve been given.

In fact, we don’t have a lot of a choice in the matter. If there’s something special we have a gift for, something that we can do better than anybody else, it’s going to suck us along into it no matter what.

And so, we may as well strap in and enjoy the ride. Trying to fight that existential undertow is exhausting. Not to mention, dishonest.

The only stipulation is, we have to leverage our uniqueness in the service of making the world a better place. Otherwise we’re just falling down the rabbit hole of our own mythology, trapped in a patchwork of pointless eccentricities.

Handy once coined a helpful concept called idiosyncrasy credits, which was an organizational approach to earning the right to be different. It’s the delicate balance between individualism and impact. The intersection of uniqueness and usefulness. He suggested that only when our team members recognize that we are making a real contribution, can we safely stretch things a bit.

Because nobody gets a free pass on the first day. We have to earn it. It’s one thing for coworkers to accept oddball behavior from someone with an amazing creative vision, but if we’re the new guy and our greatest talent lies in being exhausting and hard to be around, everybody loses.

Now, this doesn’t suggest we keep an actual ledger, marking debits and credits every time we choose to do something as an expression of our identity. But it’s an interesting filter for our behavior.

The concept of idiosyncrasy credits implores us to use our uniqueness as a means to an end, not just for the sake of being unique.

Are you good enough to justify your eccentricities?

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