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John Grubbs - ordinary is boring

Anti-Ordinary – Have the Courage to Stop Being Boring in 2017!

The term anti-ordinary is defined as being deliberately different among your own identity group(s).

This world is fighting to make us all the same. And frankly it is in our nature to become one homogenous pot of ordinariness. We must find the courage to resist this instinct. The tendency to be common among our peers is a powerful force. Too many people and organizations are simply different versions of the same reality. They are ordinary and ordinary is boring.

Competitive enterprises will mimic each other rather than set themselves apart out of fear.

Research keeps revealing some interesting perspectives on both organizational and individual dynamics. Are we afraid of being other than ordinary? Is the preoccupation with mediocrity rooted in cowardice? Is differentiation something we are conditioned to fear both professionally and personally?

We are all familiar with the terms ordinary and extraordinary. Let’s explore some of the definitions to these words. Ordinary is of no special quality or interest; commonplace; unexceptional. Ordinary is plain or undistinguished. Ordinary is somewhat inferior or below average; mediocre. Ordinary is customary; usual; normal.  Now let’s explore the term extraordinary. Extraordinary is beyond what is ordinary. Extraordinary is exceptional in character, amount, extent, degree; noteworthy; remarkable.

When we look up the term anti-ordinary, there is no definition. I want to introduce you to the term and conceptualize what it can mean for you and your organization. I define anti-ordinary as a deliberate attempt to be other than ordinary. In other words, it describes the action of differentiation. The term anti-ordinary is defined as being deliberately different among your own identity group(s).

When working with organizations, the power of peer-pressure becomes quite remarkable. People will seek the comfort and safety of being common over being set apart. Organizationally, the same tendencies exist as well. Competitive enterprises will mimic each other rather than set themselves apart mostly out of fear. Ironically, most people know the importance of differentiation but cannot overcome the attraction of being similar. What is so powerful that it will not allow us to be different? Consider this quote:

“Success is uncommon and not to be enjoyed by the common man. I’m looking for uncommon people because we want to be successful, not average” ~Coach Cal Stoll.

The same concept applies to organizations...

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