You think I've lost it for sure this time? Telling you to be weird to succeed? Guess again. It's not me. I have to tone down my mentors, gurus, and advisors. They are far more "out there" than I could ever hope to be. I'm tame compared to, well, Tom Peters for example.
Is Tom Peters, the leading business management and marketing consultant, a radical? An extremist? Or just a forward leaning visionary? He knows this: to survive, all businesses must become more creative, experimental, and innovative.
All with one focus: lavish customer loyalty based on superior personal relationships.
The cutting edge is where all the chewing satisfaction occurs. The biggest appetite always eats first, and gets full the fastest.
Tom Peters, from Talent: develop it, sell it, be it (DK Publishing, Dorling Kindersley Limited, 2005), pg. 155.
Here we encounter a plea for Abnormal Workers, those who are...well, unhappy, disgruntled, rebellious, anti-traditional.
Tom has a [WEIRD] Top 10 To Do List that consists of Sell Weird, Compete Weird, hire Weird, Buy Weird, Acquire Weird, Govern Weird, Measure Weird, Meet Weird, Think Weird, and Work Weird.
The goal is not weirdness per se, but astonishing products that revolutionize the way customer needs are ascertained and met.
"Sell weird," he says. "Cultivate customers whose weird demands will propel you into the Freaky Future of your industry."
"Hire weird. Fill your ranks with people who are too teed off to toe the line. In other words: hire angry."
"Meet weird. Schedule (today!) three lunch dates with people who strike you as strange...who embarrass you...who scare you."
Not your typical business book advice?
Tom has barely begun. Or rather, I have barely begun to expose you to the wild and highly respected proclamations of this thought leader. Let's look at a few other inflammatory remarks by Peters, shall we?
"Encourage people to ignore and defy superiors as well as peers." (p. 152)
"Find some happy people and get them to fight." (p. 152)
"Distinct or Extinct! Truly distinct talent reveals itself through work. Through weird, wild projects that add incomparable value and effect profound transformation." (p. 48)
"To survive the White Collar Wipe-out, you need to be Very Damn Special at something of specific economic value." (p. 39)
"Your customer is buying not so much a widget as a Widget Provision and Support Experience." (p. 111)
"Ask yourself: Does my list of customers and prospects have a high enough Weird Quotient to provide me with a genuine bead on the (inevitably) Weird Future?" (p. 123)
"Thinking Weird is the only surefire strategy for continual personal renewal and radical organizational innovation." (p. 139)
Quit worrying about being misunderstood, underappreciated, misfit.
Odd is marketable. We all love weird movies, weird commercials, weird music, weird art, weird people, as long as they aren't stinky and perverse. We love what's imaginative, unusual, different, exotic.
We all shun the trite, overly familiar, same old thing.
Want to worry? Then worry about being Too Normal, for that characteristic lives in the same neighborhood as Mediocre, Fearful, Lazy, and Boring.