What is an outlier? It is not the title of a recent Malcom Gladwell book–that is Outliers, the plural version–but this post won’t be about his book.
It is, more importantly, a statistical term, indicating an observation that lies outside the overall observed pattern. In the picture here, a screen shot from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outlier), you can see several outliers…the dots that fall far above and below the box and whiskers.
I think you can see that it is poorly defined. The point is, we normally recognize outliers when we see them.
The same holds true for people of character, authentic leaders that we should follow. These kinds of follower-leaders are truly significant, not just in the statistical sense.
From now on, you will find that the Outliers-Who to Follow series highlights leaders of authentic character, people who you should surround yourself with. Following them will not just add value but will multiply it. (In the future, I’ll try to keep my comments to a minimum, because I want you to connect with them!)
A few more comments from me today, though. You probably know that on Twitter, you have to click Follow to connect with someone. I think Twitter got it right, because when we connect, we are allowing others to influence us. “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise; but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.”
So as a follower, are you allowing the people you connect with to lead you out of the crowd, away from average, towards the long tail…where you too can be an outlier? Or are you pulling them back into the crowd, into median living?
Next month, I intend to explore how the long tail applies to Leaders–how it spreads their influence farther and wider, touches more people–how I bumped into a long tail, aviation leader, and what he is doing to leverage technology to multiply value to the aerospace community, and finally, how I connected with a “numbers science” Leader.
There are probably enough clues to figure out who both of these people are–do you know?
Is there someone you want to recognize as an Outlier? If so, please comment below or connect with me directly!