Are You Ready To Be A Positive Deviant?


By Stephane Leblanc, Founder and CEO, International Centre for Conscious Leadership

We currently live in a society that has many challenges and it seems that many people talk the good talk about the need to change things, but only a few are actually doing something concrete about it. 

This is true for society as a whole where we are facing a climate crisis and not only are most governments not ready to make the tough calls to prevent a climate disaster, most people do very little in their personal lives to help the environment.

We can see the same things in organizations when it comes to change and transformation. There is a reason why most large change efforts fail. It is because most people will do anything to avoid change, as they are so afraid of the unknown, even if the status quo is less than desirable.

Then again, some people, such as positive deviants, are at the root of most changes in organizations and in society.

Positive deviants are courageous and challenge the status quo. Within traditional organizations that are as slow to change as a snail, they inject new energy to force the system to respond to new initiatives. They are highly engaged and their passion is contagious as they see what is possible instead of focusing on the limitations and being attached to the past. 

They are always ready to go above and beyond just doing a good job, as they are deeply committed to making a difference for team members, clients, the organizational performance and the world.

They embrace generative practices that create concrete results and impact, which accelerates the transformation and creates an extraordinary performance. They also create a virtuous circle of goodness where good attracts good, which translates in transformed workplace culture.

Yet, these positive deviants can be challenging for most organizations as many people are attached to the current way of doing things. Conscious leaders that want to transform their organization are intent on spotting these positive deviants so they can encourage them and value their way of being to prevent the organization to completely kills their creativity.

Positive deviants are courageous and resilient in sustaining their efforts despite sometimes discouraging signals from many around them who will surely say: “That won’t work,”, “We tried that,”,  “You’ll never get approval,”  while they are not ready to take action themselves as they have given up trying to make a difference, and either consciously or subconsciously would prefer you didn’t try either.

Without positive deviants, there is a great chance that many organizations would enter a slow downward spiral toward irrelevance and death.

Positive deviants take action and undertake positive practices to develop a new product or service that makes the world a better place while being financially viable, to transform a workplace culture where people can rise to their full potential and thrive or develop programs to make their organization a force for good for its community and the environment.

To transform organizations into conscious organizations and create a better world, we need a lot more positive deviants.

Are you ready to be a positive deviant?