Despite common belief, outliers are not farmers who were out sleeping in their field. If you are a farmer out lying in your field, you are the exception. Outliers are facts, ideas, people, actions, stocks, figures, and data that are outside the norm.
Most everybody likes to be part of the group. They believe there is safety in numbers, that we all hang together or we all hang separately, and that those who do not follow the norms are weird or eccentric or just need to be avoided.
The truth is a little bit different. If you stand with the group, you are not distinguished from everyone else in that group. When massive layoffs come, the company doesn’t need the group. The company needs a core set of people who perform. It’s hard to distinguish that if you’re hiding in the group.
There is much talk today of many job types going to automation. Everything from journalists to drivers to construction. If the job you love is in one of these areas, you want to be the outlier that people cannot do without.
Here is what outliers look like on the chart.
Here is a chart of 100 people ranked as to their reputation at work they do. The mean rating is 55.5. The average rating is 54.28. There are actually 22 people from 39 to 45. On the chart between 45 and 54, there are 30 people. There are 34 people from 55.5 to 63 and 12 people from 64 to 69.
Then there are 2 outliers. The lower one has a 3, and the upper one has a 99. If I read this and can keep only an employee or 2, who do you think I’m going to keep? Hire the worker with the 99 rating.
If I am a new company or company whose hiring someone, you think I would hire rating number 57 who is hiding in the middle of the pack, or rating number 99 who is setting the pace? Who would work for you?
If you don’t think that this is going on today or that it is just a fad, go online and do some research. Look at the TEDx talks, also look at the videos on how Amazon is running at Seattle warehouse.
Uber is testing its driver-less cars now in Pittsburgh, and driver-less trucks are doing well in the West. The trucks could be the norm in some states by the end of the year.
Are you not affected? The driver-less truck never needs to stop for coffee, and a driver-less taxi rarely pulls through a fast food drive-through to pick up a meal. Who else gets touched by this? There are positives and negatives in everything.
I do not tell you these things to worry you. I look at these things because it is important for you to prepare for what comes next. Even if the only thing you know right now is there will be change, and you should be ready for a change. Change is overall a good thing.