Don’t Be Afraid to Stand Apart From the Herd

What feels safe is often risky, and what feels risky is often safe. This statement contradicts just about every evolutionary instinct we possess. We tend to seek out safety and avoid risk whenever possible. A classic example has to be the instinct that (still) tells us we are safer staying with the group.

If members of the herd stray, they are easier for predators to pick off. Staying with the group has proved the best way to survive. For generations, this principle was true at work, too. Many of our grandparents had one job for many years, retired with a pension and lived happily ever after.

In the span of only one generation, it seems that’s changed. While it used to be safe being “a company man,” that is now often risky. People are fired often. We’re now more familiar with the rise of what the author Daniel Pink described as a free-agent nation. It’s incredibly hard for our brains to accept this change, but the group no longer offers us the same assurance of safety. Sticking with the herd at work may, in fact, be the riskier choice.

Read the rest of the article on The New York Times.