Except for in a political context, you don’t hear much about only two percent of the population doing anything. So, when the graduation speaker shared that only two percent of the adult population in the United States has earned a doctorate degree, it struck me as a very small number. I earned my Ed.D. over twenty years ago and did not realize to what a small fraternity I belonged.

Then at a recent meeting with a cohort of innovation leaders, the Rogers Adaptation Curve was shared as a framework for the charge ahead of them. Only 2.5% of the population is considered as an innovator, giving context to the minority in which these leaders found themselves. The cohort was formed to provide support and counsel to similar change-oriented people since they were in such short supply in the general population.

Think about where not only you fall, but where others in your organization land. Whether it is in pursuit of a doctorate or on a mission to reimagine the child welfare system, anyone seeking to be part of a two percent finds themselves in a lonely position. What can you do to provide a safe environment, access to like-minded people and the inspiration to persevere until they reach the end they are seeking?

One may be the loneliest number, but two percent isn’t far behind.

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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