The power in being an 'unusual' leader

You don't have to be a table tennis-playing, dress code-subverting maverick to win hearts and minds... But it might help.

by John Dore

Not long out of university, I started my first ‘proper’ job at an accountancy firm, Arthur Andersen, just off the Aldwych in London.

Before joining I had a year working with a training organisation called The Industrial Society, whose goal was to better equip young managers with confidence and ambition. I sauntered that morning into the smart Andersen offices in my scuffed brown brogues and knew within minutes that this was a different world altogether.

Much of my first salary payment was spent on some shiny black footwear, but that stone-cold moment of revelation still rings true. It is enormously difficult to deviate from the corporate norm. Being unusual is hard and ‘not fitting in’ is not easy.

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