Fitting In and Standing Out

Square Peg courtesy of Photobucket

I have always been a bit of a square peg in a round hole. Back in high school, I was in the smart kid classes with the rich kids but I lived from the wrong side of Red Road (not the rich Coral Gables side). I hung out with metal heads and listened to Maiden and Ozzy but didn’t smoke weed. I’d visit my punk rock cousin in California but didn’t shoot or snort anything like most of the other’s in that scene. Always there without being there. Kind of. Even in my working life I have either often been a bit of an exception. Today, someone told me that I was perceived by some as “too hard” and “too opinionated”. OK, so that is not exactly surprising but still it got me thinking. Perhaps that my outer shell which can be confrontational is a defense mechanism due to this constantly being out of my own comfort zone. Or I just lose patience with things I feel are too slow, too dumb, too unintuitive, too mainstream and boring…Or maybe I am just a pain in the ass.

So here I am, a cynic and tech weenie guru sitting in a marketing department – totally square in a totally soft-edged world. My communication is accurate and humorous (at least it tries to be) and yet I am very direct and precise in my criticism of the status quo. I think that my recent reading of Guy Kawasaki books has made me feel even more justified in my being very demanding because I can see that enthusiasm is a necessary ingredient for positive change, or as guy says Enchantment, although admittedly, he probably would check himself sooner than I do. I feel however, that if you aren’t willing to burn your fields from time to time, you can’t sow any new wheat after a while and the field will eventually become infertile. That being said, perhaps my enthusiasm is often accompanied by condescension of the status quo and this impertinence probably puts people on the defensive. My question is whether this is a flaw in my interpersonal dealings or just an indication that I need a change? For the moment, I’ll just try to make sure that every negative comment of the status quo is accompanied by at least one or two suggestions for improving whatever it is I am ranting about. Not always easy but probably essential.

Last note for tonight: I am about halfway through The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell and it is actually pretty good. I tried Blue’s Clues on my kids today and it was astounding how they immediately reacted and interacted with the show. It was a pleasant discovery. As for the business principles, I identify with both the Connectors and Mavens but not really the Salesmen. More to come once I really finish the book.

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About mfinocchiaro

IT Architecture Guru for large PLM software company but dabbling in Web 2.0 and other stuff.
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6 Responses to Fitting In and Standing Out

  1. Mike says:

    Good thing I’m not a salesperson, but both a little connector and a little maven!

  2. Keith says:

    A strong sense of “self” when growing up keeps you safe. You don’t feel the need to gain approval from others, or their acceptance, by engaging in their chosen activities, snorting, sniffing, inhaling, etc. This could also be necessary as a part of survival in today’s world, or yesterdays. You don’t have to blend in to be accepted and by standing out you can be a leader.

  3. mfinocchiaro says:

    Thanks Mike and Keith. Very encouraging. So Just Be Me 🙂
    I suppose that, in retrospect, Kawasaki was dangerous reading!!
    Cheers and thanks again 🙂
    PS. Listening to the Treme Season 1 Soundtrack. Ohhhhhh do I miss ‘Nawlins…so great…

  4. Bill Chance says:

    Malcolm Gladwell certainly has an interesting point of view. I enjoyed Outliers more than either The Tipping Point or Blink. It explained a lot of concepts I had never thought about.

    Read your comment reply above – I’m going to New Orleans this weekend (my son is at Tulane) – really looking forward to some live music.

    • mfinocchiaro says:

      Thanks Bill. I have a pile of biographies to read but will consider those other tro Gladwells you mentioned.
      Tipitinas, jumbalaya, fried okra…so many memories. Have an Abita and a poorboy while listening to some zydeco and overall, have a great time 🙂

  5. Pingback: Embrace Your Inner Fino, One Four-Letter Word At A Time | Fino's Weblog

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