Great Leaders are a bit “Crazy”

Crazy like a born leaderI recently watched a video of a surfer who took on a 100 foot wave – on purpose! It’s been a long time since I surfed, but in my day, a 6′ wave was about all I could handle. I found myself asking “What drives somebody to take a risk like this? What makes someone put it all on the line for their passion? Is this guy nuts?”

The same questions could be asked about YOU. Your answer may be similar to the surfers answer – “It’s who I am!” No one made you start your own business or pushed you into becoming the leader you are today – you just are. But sometimes, it must seem like a wild ride that only a crazy person would take on.

Most dreams are not an overnight success and many are just laughed off as insane when some crazy dreamer first shares them with the market. Zappos, Federal Express, and Amazon were dismissed as bad ideas whose time would NEVER come. Digital offerings like Instagram and Twitter were met with “What do I do with THAT?” What about Farmville, Crocks, and the Pet Rock. Crazy ideas!

Being a little crazy does help. There are hundreds of other success stories about people who faced amazing odds and pulled off a miracle to grow their company. Most of them faced a hard road that would have made a “rational” person give up the dream. Crazy leaders never give up.

Be Crazy – but Get Support

Steve Jobs experienced this. In 1985, the board of Apple basically fired him. He spent the next 12 years trying to make things work, but most failed miserably. It was during his time at Pixar when he finally learned to ally with others that he had a turning point in his career. Pixar taught Jobs to work with other companies, and to be open to other people’s ideas, and to allow others to “run with” his ideas, instead of having to control the show himself. What was needed for Steve Jobs, and for all great leaders, is to align themselves with others who can make their crazy dreams a reality.

Here are some things I’ve seen successful leaders do to chase their dream:

  • Build your Team – include people who believe in your dream, and are crazy enough to join you in the journey. Toss in a good CFO as a lifeguard, just in case you “Wipe Out.”
  • Create a Vision – make it a big dream, but make it clear by putting it in writing so others can follow you and be even better leaders.
  • Give Updates – review your progress with your team so everyone knows you are moving in the right direction, and has hope to keep them hanging on when things look crazy.
  • Don’t Hog the Waves – Let others take a wave once in a while. This allows others to test their skills, and will help create a team of confident leaders who are not afraid to take on the big waves.

Renaissance Executive Forum Dallas brings together a group of experienced  CEOs and business owners who have faced the challenges of running a business and understand the struggles you face. Our Forums provide a confidential place to share your crazy dreams, and get the encouragement and resources to make them come true.

Our Peer to Peer Advisory Groups are the best place to get “Questions to your Answers” (yes that is the correct order), that will help you maneuver around all the Roadblocks, Obstacles, and Challenges that get in the way of your achieving your dream.

If you want more information about our Peer Groups, contact us today at (469) 269-5148 or at RobertH@REFDallas.com.

by Robert Hunt

Other Great Articles and Links

“Some men see things and say why; I dream things that never were and say why not.”
-Robert F. Kennedy-

Great Leaders Take Risks – and Succeed.

Click here to watch the video of the crazy surfer.

An Apple History: Remembering Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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