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Why Channeling Your Inner Weirdo Helps You Get Ahead At Work

Ogilvy & Mather exec John Manly on workplace success - “Let your freak flag fly.”

I have succeeded at five different ad agencies over the course of nearly two decades by sticking to one simple rule: 

Be a freakin’ weirdo.

Weird, you question? Yes, weird. Weird is what fuels individuals in the most prolific agencies to remain the vanguards of new ideas. And despite the tendency to outfit agency halls with creative stimuli, channeling our “inner weirdo” is not a natural tendency simply instigated by odd-shaped chairs or brainstorming books. Weirdness—uncovering it, embracing it, practicing it—is one of the most difficult, yet most integral, components to success within the halls of any agency.

“Being weird, I’ve come to realize, is only weird if you don’t use it to better yourself and those around you. Weird is the spark in innovation that separates the good from the great. Weird is the muscle behind adaptability and progress. Weird makes us broader thinkers, stronger leaders, and more adventurous co-conspirators.”

Read the rest here.

Why Channeling Your Inner Weirdo Helps You Get Ahead At Work

Ogilvy & Mather exec John Manly on workplace success - “Let your freak flag fly.”

I have succeeded at five different ad agencies over the course of nearly two decades by sticking to one simple rule:

Be a freakin’ weirdo.

Weird, you question? Yes, weird. Weird is what fuels individuals in the most prolific agencies to remain the vanguards of new ideas. And despite the tendency to outfit agency halls with creative stimuli, channeling our “inner weirdo” is not a natural tendency simply instigated by odd-shaped chairs or brainstorming books. Weirdness—uncovering it, embracing it, practicing it—is one of the most difficult, yet most integral, components to success within the halls of any agency.

Being weird, I’ve come to realize, is only weird if you don’t use it to better yourself and those around you. Weird is the spark in innovation that separates the good from the great. Weird is the muscle behind adaptability and progress. Weird makes us broader thinkers, stronger leaders, and more adventurous co-conspirators.”

Read the rest here.

Are Ambitious People Happier?
If you go and get yours, you may get more in the end—but contentment and longer life span may not be among the spoils…
Atlantic writer Emily Esfahani Smith can wield a semicolon: “Ambition drives people forward; relationships and community, by imposing limits, hold people back.”
To Smith, the tension between ambition, relationships, and happiness is at the center of our conversations about leaning in, having it all, and why we’re always so busy.
It’s often a problem of latency: As Clay Christensen once told us, the extra hour you spend at work might yield positive feedback the next morning, but you won’t get that same immediacy when you leave that work to have dinner with your family.
Read the rest here.

Are Ambitious People Happier?

If you go and get yours, you may get more in the end—but contentment and longer life span may not be among the spoils…

Atlantic writer Emily Esfahani Smith can wield a semicolon: “Ambition drives people forward; relationships and community, by imposing limits, hold people back.”

To Smith, the tension between ambition, relationships, and happiness is at the center of our conversations about leaning inhaving it all, and why we’re always so busy.

It’s often a problem of latency: As Clay Christensen once told us, the extra hour you spend at work might yield positive feedback the next morning, but you won’t get that same immediacy when you leave that work to have dinner with your family.

Read the rest here.

The Holy Trinity Of Startup Success: Purpose, Culture, Reward
Management consultants would have you believe that making a ham sandwich requires a PhD. But building a successful business can actually be boiled down to 3 pretty basic concepts.
Author and entrepreneur Trevor Blake maintains that the key to having a successful working environment is a combination of purpose, fun, and sharing rewards.
Read the story here.

The Holy Trinity Of Startup Success: Purpose, Culture, Reward

Management consultants would have you believe that making a ham sandwich requires a PhD. But building a successful business can actually be boiled down to 3 pretty basic concepts.

Author and entrepreneur Trevor Blake maintains that the key to having a successful working environment is a combination of purpose, fun, and sharing rewards.

Read the story here.

How Arianna Huffington Defines Success
At the Wall Street Journal, Arianna Huffington writes that Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In has unleashed a range of conversations—including what world, exactly, is being leaned into.
To Huffington, we’re failing to understand the nature of success.

"This is a great moment…to acknowledge that the current male-dominated model of success isn’t working for women," she writes, "and it’s not working for men, either."

What’s that world look like?
Arianna Huffington
Pretty tightly wound. Huffington notes that self-reported stress has gone up for both sexes in the past 30 years—18 percent for women, 25 percent for men. A recent Harvard Medical School study estimated that U.S. companies lose $63.2 billion to sleep deprivation every year. And women, Huffington notes, are more likely to feel stressed at work.
With our current “time macho” culture, we’ve got stressed-out leaders in politics, business, and media making awful decisions.
"What they lack is not smarts but wisdom," she says. "And it’s much harder to tap into your wisdom, recognizing the icebergs before they hit the Titanic—a big part of leadership—when you’re running on empty."
Learning how to lean back
Huffington calls upon a lovely French phrase: reculer pour mieux sauter, which loosely translates as lean back to jump higher. Or in other words,relax and you’ll be more productive.
For Huffington, what’s missing is measurement:

We need a third metric, based on our well-being, our health, our ability to unplug and recharge and renew ourselves, and to find joy in both our job and the rest of our life. Ultimately, success is not about money or position, but about living the life you want, not just the life you settle for.

Who are the early adopters?
The happiest companies, who, by way, are making more money. Examples: Google has invested in its People Operations, General Mills practices mindfulness, and Square has adirector of experience.
And as Leslie Perlow notes, workaholics aren’t addicted to work—they’re need addicted to validation. So let’s change the validation structure.
Huffington on Sandberg: To Lean In, First Lean Back
[Image by Flickr user Penn State/Patrick Mansell]

How Arianna Huffington Defines Success

At the Wall Street Journal, Arianna Huffington writes that Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In has unleashed a range of conversations—including what world, exactly, is being leaned into.

To Huffington, we’re failing to understand the nature of success.

"This is a great moment…to acknowledge that the current male-dominated model of success isn’t working for women," she writes, "and it’s not working for men, either."

What’s that world look like?

Arianna Huffington

Pretty tightly wound. Huffington notes that self-reported stress has gone up for both sexes in the past 30 years—18 percent for women, 25 percent for men. A recent Harvard Medical School study estimated that U.S. companies lose $63.2 billion to sleep deprivation every year. And women, Huffington notes, are more likely to feel stressed at work.

With our current “time macho” culture, we’ve got stressed-out leaders in politics, business, and media making awful decisions.

"What they lack is not smarts but wisdom," she says. "And it’s much harder to tap into your wisdom, recognizing the icebergs before they hit the Titanic—a big part of leadership—when you’re running on empty."

Learning how to lean back

Huffington calls upon a lovely French phrase: reculer pour mieux sauter, which loosely translates as lean back to jump higher. Or in other words,relax and you’ll be more productive.

For Huffington, what’s missing is measurement:

We need a third metric, based on our well-being, our health, our ability to unplug and recharge and renew ourselves, and to find joy in both our job and the rest of our life. Ultimately, success is not about money or position, but about living the life you want, not just the life you settle for.

Who are the early adopters?

The happiest companies, who, by way, are making more money. Examples: Google has invested in its People Operations, General Mills practices mindfulness, and Square has adirector of experience.

And as Leslie Perlow notes, workaholics aren’t addicted to work—they’re need addicted to validation. So let’s change the validation structure.

Huffington on Sandberg: To Lean In, First Lean Back

[Image by Flickr user Penn State/Patrick Mansell]