We have developed a whole fitting-in-industrial-complex based on being like everybody else:

Buy this book and you know how to answer interview questions.

Listen to this expert and you know how to dress for success.

Be a dummy but just buy our book and you’ll be fine.

It goes deeper than that.

Our political vetting process is all about fitting in. How can you be mediocre enough to appeal to the masses?

You go to a conference and they tell you what to wear in advance.

Your kids go to school and you tell them how to behave to be successful.

The Fitting-In-Industrial-Complex is dying.

It’s not that hard to figure out how to fit in. If that’s your goal, you’ll be able to find good advice on Amazon or in your local bookstore.

Conformity used to be crucial. Compliance used to be the heart of every successful enterprise, every successful career, every successful life. Why? We had to work in and for the system, my father started his career in factory, following exactly what he was told. He advanced to become a manager by following the rules. If you just comply today, if you follow the rules, you will be forgotten. You will not have the success my father had. Because compliance is obsolete.

How to stand out.

Standing out is harder but it’s much more rewarding. Standing out is challenging because you don’t want to come across as a jerk/weirdo or a wannabe. It’s a fine line you’re walking. Standing out has nothing to do with clothes. It has everything to do with attitude and mindset.

Standing out is not about being different. That’s easy.

Standing out is about a point of view. And sticking with it.

We don’t need more people to know everything. We have Google and our social graph for that. We need more people to uncover unknown questions and trying to answer those.

Questioning everything used to be the poison pill for any career. Now, it’s the only way to succeed.