Chasing Greatness While Missing Uniqueness

by Jay Deragon on 12/18/2012

uniueLots of people and organizations are using social media to try and achieve greatness. They pursue ranks, rating, followers and media attention as hallmarks of their “greatness”. However, only the few become great and not from following anything accept their own uniqueness.

We all individually and collectively possess “uniqueness”.  Our DNA’s are ours alone and no one elses. An organization represents the collective DNA’s of all the people involved, employees, customers, suppliers and partners.  Uniqueness represents the quality of being one of a kind; that singularity distinguished us and our organizations from all others.

Greatest only comes from being one of a kind whether individually or collectively. Greatness can be defined as remarkable or outstanding in magnitude, degree, or extent. Greatness also implies outstanding significance or importance.  Greatness is achieved when one or more people create “uniqueness” for others.  Think of Steve Jobs who through his own ideas of uniqueness created greatness. He himself was unqiue because he dared to think differently than others.

The Social Era Enables Uniqueness To Create Greatness

The Social Era enables individual uniqueness to create collective greatness. Think about the current dynamics happening before our eyes.

  1. Work is no longer contained in the construct of a “job” rather it is defined by individual and collective purpose
  2. When people apply their individual uniqueness to a collective purpose they fulfill a human purpose and create greatness
  3. Leadership will be/is defined by the ability to create greatest from collective uniqueness
  4.  The construct of “business organizations” is no longer defined by walls but by the ability to attract talent that matches the purpose of applying collective uniqueness.
  5.  Value creation comes from collaboration of the many aimed at a unique vision of greatness created by the few

Nilofer Merchant writes :When there is shared purpose, it doesn’t matter how many people work “in the company” and how many people work “with” the company or how many are serving as an army of volunteers who want to advance the mission of the company. What will organizations look like when only 5 percent of talent affecting output is directly on payroll, and others come and go?

The historical organizational construct is the biggest constraint to achiveing greatness through the uniqueness of people.  Too many organizations and their leaders get so absorbed in chasing greatness that they lose all sense of purpose. Subsequently they miss the uniqueness that creates greatness—unique people with a common purpose.

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