My daughter’s Year 3 class is like a mini United Nations. Amongst her group of friends are the most adorable kids of Ethiopian, Japanese and Pakistani backgrounds. Seeing them play together is a celebration of diversity that is a joy to experience.
In the early 80s however, my primary school wasn’t so multicultural. The lunchtime bell signalled my daily sprint. It was time to (literally) race outside and eat my lunch before anyone could see what I had in my lunchbox. Back then, sun-dried tomatoes, prosciutto or salami sandwiches weren’t considered so “normal”… Why couldn’t I have Vegemite or corned beef and tomato sauce on white sliced bread like all the other kids?
At high school in Year 8, we had an often misunderstood but very memorable History teacher. Amongst the many long, dry, monologue attempts at being humorous, he imparted some advice to us all. In his thick Northern Irish accent he challenged us all to “Dare to be different”. This resonated with me, and stuck in my mind from that early age.
Since that time, I’ve come to understand what our History teacher was saying. It’s not always easy to go against the grain and stand out in some way, especially in business.
But, by challenging yourself and providing an approach that stands out from the crowd, you can be sure to celebrate the long term rewards of being different!