Fit in or Stand out?

In his book, Linchpin, Seth Godin writes, “You can either fit in, or stand out.  Not both.”

Those who fit in usually make very little difference.

Don’t misunderstand.  There is nothing wrong with conformity to a cause or strategy that is compelling.

But artists, the Linchpins (to use Godin’s word), are the ones who commit to bringing their absolute best when things are not so compelling.  They stand out.  They refuse to fit in to a culture of mediocrity.

I suspect there is a place where you need to stand out today.  It might be a moment under the spotlight with everyone watching, or it might be in a private place when you are alone.

Don’t yield to fear and fit in.  Fear paralyzes and only weakens the culture.

You will make an important choice today. You will either fit in, or stand out . . . but not both.



What are some healthy ways a leader should stand out?

Leave a comment

Matthew Critten

11 years ago

Stand out in your convictions, no matter how unpopular it may be to some people.


11 years ago

Great word Matt!

Scott Humphrey

11 years ago

I always heard “Any old dead fish can float downstream, it takes the strong fish to go against the current” Conforming can be good, for the right cause as you state, but is usually a means of justifying our decision not to stand.


11 years ago

Go with the flow long enough and you will end up in the sewer . . . Thanks for the word Scott!

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