There is a huge (HUGE) difference between being wily and daffy. Eccentric people are often viewed as the latter when they may well be the former. I think it stems from the fact that many can’t actually understand eccentricity. So they view eccentric people as “out there.” They will label them as insipid or even crazy. Yet some of the most misunderstood people are the truly gifted.
The reason this is coming up is the importance of personalities within businesses and life in general. I’ve met a lot of people in work and in school, and the majority are pretty darn smart. They know what they are doing and bring a lot to the table. Their personality is the sticking point. If ability is table stakes, then personality and likability are the true differentiators. They’re a wild card, because different situations and teams merit different personality traits. The key is adaptability, can you blend into the crowd when needed? Can you stand out from the crowd as necessary? Can avoid the crowd completely if that’s the best option?
Really interesting people, to me, are often “out there.” I’m very much out there, and it’s fun. Life inside the lines is pretty boring, and it can be really poor marketing. This isn’t to say everything you do should be avant garde or blatantly deter from a beaten path. It shouldn’t. Yet something there is to the person who isn’t afraid to do things differently. To be something completely new and remarkable, even in the little things. Those people are cited as daffy by some, when in all truth, they may well be wily after all. You’d be well put to investigate people fully before appraising their worth.