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Freaks Make Fantastic Corporate Leaders






Human resources expert Uta von Boyen said most German companies are making a ‘big mistake’ by filling management roles with average normal people in an interview with Der Spiegel this week, and said ‘freaks make better leaders’ instead.


Noting how a pervasive culture based on minimizing weakness and crushing individuality and ‘original thinking’ is a ‘general social problem’ permeating schools, colleges and personnel departments, she said companies should aim to actively nurture ‘misfits’ and accommodate their quirks- ‘especially in periods of recession’.


Conceding that such ‘freaks’ have a tendency to shake up the status quo, have their heads in the clouds and then often be no good at putting their plans into practice, she nevertheless recommended that ‘the trick is to find a form of organization in which they can be embedded without losing their brilliance’.


“If it is possible to embed a peak performer into an organization then that is a big win for all,” said Ms von Boyen.


But it requires that you initiate cultural change within the company: Otherwise the freak is rejected by the group.” (Der Spiegel: )


The term freak first emerged in America’s 60s and early 70s counter-culture, with ‘freaks’ usually making themselves deliberately easy to identity, according to Wikipedia.


“The clothing of the freaks used elements of roleplay such as headbands, cloaks, frock coats, and kaftans, suggesting either a romantic historical era or a distant region. These were combined with cheap, hardwearing clothes such as jeans and army surplus coats,” the ‘Freak Scene’ wiki entry recounts.


“The effect was to make a group of freaks look like a gathering of characters from a fantasy or science fiction novel. All of these appearances were intentional and enjoyed by the participants of the freak scene.” 
 (Members of the Weather Underground would even draft their manifesto and declaration of war on the U.S. state with the sentence: “Freaks are revolutionaries and revolutionaries are freaks . . .”) (Slate Magazine: “This is the thing about creativity that is rarely acknowledged: Most people don’t actually like it. Studies confirm what many creative people have suspected all along: People are biased against creative thinking, despite all of their insistence otherwise . . .”)

















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