The best managers are misfits and weirdos 

By Blair Mcpherson | 05 June 2020

I had a lecturer at university who use to frustrate me and my fellow students by their unorthodox teaching style. The lectures seemed to have no structure and frequently went off at a tangent and consisted of a series of apparently unrelated anecdotes. We pleaded for a clear set of notes that we could refer to in our essays  and exams but none were forthcoming. At the time we regarded this lecturer as a bit of a misfit and weirdo and even complained to the hierarchy about them. Now I look back and see things differently. In refusing to spoon feed us and forcing us to go and find things out this lecturer was encouraging us to think for ourselves, to take those real life anecdotes -  theirs and ours  - and place them in a context. As a result we were given licence to write some very different essays and not simply a regurgitation of the lectures. 

The best managers I worked for were not always well regarded by their colleagues. Their unorthodox methods, their different way of looking at things and their intensity made some people feel uncomfortable. Often admired outside their organisation for their fresh thinking and enthusiasm, within their own organisation they were seen as misfits or weirdos. Yet they were the ones who led on innovation, who were prepared to take risks and who invariably delivered.

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