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Square Pegs and Round Holes

Leadership
Author: Mark Dixon
Friday, May 18, 2012
3:12 pm

Square Peg; Round HoleDid you ever wonder where the term “square peg in a round hole” came from?  According to Wikipedia, the term first appeared a book by British novelist Edward Bulwer Lytton his late 19th century book, Kenelm Chillingly, His Adventures and Opinions:

Kenelm Chillingly asks, “Does it not prove that no man, however wise, is a good judge of his own case? Now, your son’s case is really your case —- you see it through the medium of your likings and dislikings, and insist upon forcing a square peg into a round hole, because in a round hole you, being a round peg, feel tight and comfortable. Now I call that irrational.”

The farmer responded, “I don’t see why my son has any right to fancy himself a square peg … when his father, and his grandfather, and his great-grandfather, have been round pegs; and it is agin’ nature for any creature not to take after its own kind.”

As I see it, when square pegs and round holes meet, we have two options, both requiring significant change:

  1. Carve the square peg into a cylinder.
  2. Cut the round hole into a square.

If neither gives, a mismatch will persist.

Have you ever felt like that?

 

2 Responses to “Square Pegs and Round Holes”

    […] after I posted about square pegs in round holes, my daughter sent me the classic “Think Different” quote embodied in this […]

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