“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently…they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.” – Steve Jobs

I have vivid memories from my childhood about my hesitation to do anything that I believed would make me stand out as being different. I remember my grade school would have a hallway parade every Halloween season. On the day of the parade you were allowed to wear a costume and then we would parade through the halls one class at a time.

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Despite my Mother’s best suggestions for a costume she just couldn’t convince me to go to school dressed as a cowboy, a clown, or whatever because I guess I was scared to look different. The why is a fuzzy memory but I do remember I just didn’t want to wear a costume. The best she could do was to convince me to take a mask and put it on for the parade. Although wearing a mask, I remember trying not to look at the other children lined up along the walls, for fear they would recognize me. Thinking about this is funny because I was one of the very few without a full costume. So I, being afraid to appear unusual by wearing a costume, ultimately made me stand out because I didn’t have one on.

I remember as a teenager wanting to fit in. I became very particular what I wore and how my clothes looked on me. I made sure the collars on my button-down shirts had plenty of starch in them so they would not sag or curl but would stand straight up. My slacks needed to be tapered just so and when my Mom gave up on trying to please me; I learned to use the sewing machine and did it myself. All of this in the attempt to not stand out but to look just like the rest of the boys.

The fear of standing out, looking different; being labeled a crack-pot, nut-job just because you look at things a little differently is something a good leader should never worry about.

Today you may be called crazy, tomorrow you may be a genius.

Have a Great Blahless Day!