Are you busy fitting in or busy standing out? The answer can change day to day, meeting to meeting. And, that's OK-- assuming you know which and why.
I've been thinking recently about diversity and why our continued drive to recruit, hire, and nurture a wide range of backgrounds, interests, and perspectives is so important to our business. Beyond being the right way to treat people and selfishly making our own lives more colorful, there is a real business case. This is especially true in the federal market where our clients are so far ahead of us on this dimension. Ever show up to orals with an entourage of dark suits only to be welcomed by a bedazzled evaluation panel in festive holiday sweaters? Awkward.
Ironically, the energy we invest in recruiting a diverse pool of staff is often immediately converted to conditioning new staff to think the same, to acculturate post-hire. We owe it to ourselves and each other to pick at least one meeting per day to competently and confidently stand out. Over time, you might just build a reputation for being different-- in a good way. Then when you show up, everyone knows you were invited for a reason.
Have a great weekend.