Why Great Leaders Seem Crazy

All great leaders share a vision for success. Sometimes, that vision can be so new, radical, or unique that others call them crazy.

Steve Jobs famously made Apple’s slogan “Think Different,” in the late 1990s. As the television commercial said, “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”

Ask for a leadership success story from the dot-com craze, and Amazon is sure to come to mind. Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of the ultimate in one-stop online shopping, is almost synonymous with the Internet. But the dream did not start out that big. In 1994, Bezos gave up his job as a VP of a New York investment firm, packed up a used car, and moved to Seattle with his new wife and a vision – to start an online business selling books.

Of course, the idea was wacky. Of course, everyone told him he was nuts. Of course, he faced many obstacles along the way – and of course, he overcame them all. What carried him through the tough times was his clarity of purpose, his vision of what Amazon.com could be. “I knew that if I failed, I wouldn’t regret that,” he’s quoted as saying. “But I knew the one thing I might regret was not trying.”

If you want to be a great leader, know what you are trying to accomplish with vivid clarity. The more real you can make your vision, the easier it is to share it with others and convince them to come along.

This is especially true if you are asking your clients to take a leap of faith toward an unknown solution that you know will pay off for them. Paint a detailed, accurate vision, and they won’t be able to resist.

What are some of your greatest leadership lessons? Share your thoughts in the comments section. 

About Lisa

Lisa is Editorial Director at Selling Power.
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