We are quick to embrace people who are a reflection of ourselves.

People who
– grew up in the same city
– went to the same school
– studied the same course
– followed the same trajectory

We aren’t as welcoming to newcomers who don’t fit with the usual pattern or story. They are less likely to slip into our friendship group with ease and often there’s an expectation that they somehow prove themselves before we embrace them as ‘one of us’.

They are seen as interlopers.

Who are you? Why are you here? What makes you think you’re one of us? What do you plan to do?

We’re not scared of interlopers, we’re afraid of change.

Someone who doesn’t fit the stereotype challenges us to change our story about how this goes. How it works. What our place is within it.

We should receive interlopers more readily in this day of disruption. Rather than be caught with our heads in the sand, resisting change, we benefit from the energy and ideas of someone new. Someone who found a different way to this place brings with her different experiences and skills.

You should continue to develop the talents of the people already in your team. Using your network to find “people like us” allows you to grow your tribe and spread your message.

If you don’t evolve, you die.
In-breeding is not a good way to strengthen the gene pool – not in your family and not in your business. When there is an opportunity to learn from someone with a different approach it is important to consider how you can integrate that knowledge into what you do. The less alike we are, the more we can learn from each other.

We’ve all experienced what it feels like to be an interloper. Stepping into a room of new people or a new experience we often wonder if we’re going to fit in. We’re there to learn and to contribute where we can. Anyone living a creative life is constantly challenging expectations, looking for ways to ‘break something’ and put it back together in a new way.

Let’s look out for fellow interlopers and welcome their difference with open arms.

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