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My friend owned a clothing store back in the late eighties/ early nineties, which I helped him set up and run. The trends of that era circled around bright, fluorescent colors, paired with acid-wash jeans, parachute pants, leather jackets and Z. Cavariccis (how can I not mention those). Another major trend of that time? One size fits all clothing.

When I managed large software implementations, many of my clients would start with the notion that they could do an out of the box implementation with no customizations; I would remind them that they are unique and a 100% cookie cutter implementation would most likely not be a good idea. Their thinking was since experts designed this with lots of research and thought, it should work from the get-go. Again, the one size fits all trend.

The problem with one size fits “all” is that all of us are unique and very little is 100% the same. When it comes to clothing, not only do we have different body types but we have different tastes, and different colors look good on us. When it comes to business, uniqueness is what gives a company their competitive edge; it can come through the culture they promote, the service they provide or that extra care they give to their clients and employees. Don’t get me wrong, a lot is the same, but it’s the differences that make us unique.

This uniqueness that each of us carry is what makes us special. Just like in business or a product, there may be similarities in our foundation or style, but those slight differences are what make us interesting; they give us different experiences and thus different points of view.

Leaders of an organization should always treat everyone with respect and follow their company’s corporate culture, that’s one size fits all. As leaders, I believe we also need to understand that there are differences in everyone; one person may need extra nurturing while another may need a challenge. We need to acknowledge these differences and meet people where they are; one size fits all, mostly. This mentality goes both ways, because as leaders we must also take ques and direction from those we serve, those we lead and those we follow to understand what they need.

By not truly being “one size fits all”, we can learn from each other so we can continue to grow. Besides, why would we want to be the same as everybody else? Occasionally, though, a one size fits all does makes sense, especially when we smile at everyone 😊

“A human being is a single being. Unique and unrepeatable.”– Eileen Caddy

Enjoy the uniqueness of this weekend; it’ll be different than the others, even if only slightly!

 

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