There is an interesting theory that I read in an interview on a South African marketing site. The person being interviewed was the CEO of one of, if not, the biggest publishing house in SA. His theory was that oddballs would drive innovation and change, rather than the people in their power suits and branded sunglasses.
This CEO, Koos Bekker, had been to Monte Carlo to attend the Ernst & Young and Rand Merchant Bank World Entrepreneur Awards Programme as the South African candidate. The winner of the award, for anybody dying to know, was a clown. Well not quite but close. It was Canada’s Cirque du Soleil founder and CEO, Guy Lalibert.
What Mr Bekker maintained though, and what really rang bells of ‘oh of course’, was that the entrepreneurs he met at the award ceremony were quite different in that some were small and inarticulate and some larger than life and obnoxious. But he felt they all had something in common and that was their burning ambition to prove something to the world.
That makes total sense. The people that make it in large capital letters, whether in the field of wealth, fame, science, humanitarian works or even those claiming to be highly infamous and many more fields of endeavour, are the ones that feel they have to be a bit of a mesiah. They need to show the world the best product, service, humanitarian effort or be the most famous or infamous.
Whether it’s somebody like Madonna for the fame, Nelson Mandela for the political achievement, Steve Jobs for Apple and technology, the Curries for Science or the Wright brothers and their flying machines. These people have always wanted to prove a point, make a statement or show the world. They have done this even to the point of sacrificing their personal safety such as Mandela in prison, the Wright brothers falling out of the sky, Jobs getting fired from his own company, or the Curries dying of cancer.
Possibly this overriding wish to be right in the invention, business idea, political thinking etc is what makes these people more successful in their chosen field. They do this better than others who might have the same good ideas, put in the required hard work, are passionate and single minded in their pursuit, but they just don’t get as far.
The undying wish to prove to the world that their invention, their ideas, their thinking is the most important in the world, pushes these people into the spot light. It makes them succeed beyond what one would image they are capable of taking their intellect, background, education etc into consideration.
Anja Merret lives in Brighton, UK. Her personal blog http://www.anjamerret.com allows her to voice opinions on issues that interest her and observations she makes.
She has started a new blog http://www.pinkblocks.com that deals with observations on self development and personal power. Her recommendation for self help tools may be found on http://www.anjamerret.blogspot.com