Stop Domesticating Remarkable People

Stop domesticating remarkable people

The middle people are forgettable. The obsessed people are remarkable.

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The average rulers want everyone to be average.

Leaders face the danger of domesticating remarkable people. In the process, remarkable people become average, forgettable.


I see a remarkable hotel employee a few times a year. She smiles ALWAYS and asks with a bright Mexican accent, "How are you?" She pulls a little "or".

His eyes crease in the corners to validate his smile.

The last time I saw her, I asked, "How are you so happy all the time?" She replied, "I want MY guests to enjoy their stay .

Notice that she said, "My guests." She does not own the hotel. She replenishes the breakfast buffet. She did it for years.

Some mornings I want to be left alone. Some mornings I do not like merry people. However, of all the hotel employees I meet, this one rises to the top. (Even if it irritates me from time to time.)

Exceptional qualities have a disadvantage.

Happy people irritate cranky people.
Retail people drive crazy big picture people.
Planners lead spontaneous people to the nuts.

Avoid domestication:

If you are not careful, you will domesticate the best performers. They are too happy, too detailed, or plan too much.

Compared to average people, remarkable people are obsessed.

I had an obsessive detail person in my team. Nothing was good enough for him.

He moved my laptop a quarter of an inch before making presentations. He adjusted the lights, the chairs, the sound, the projection. He was the tweakmeister.

Others thought that they could not do anything good for him.

5 Ways to Celebrate the Obsession:

Realize that remarkable people invite strong reactions.
Launches interference for remarkable people.
Design jobs around remarkable people.
Teach team members how to tolerate the obsessions of the other. Laugh a little.
Add extenuating qualities and skills to obsessed people, but do not mitigate their obsession.

How could leaders protect and maximize remarkable people?


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