Bucking the herd mentality

When we are children and teenagers it is very important that we fit in, that we’re accepted by our peers. This leads us to wear our hair a certain way, don a certain type of clothes, maybe piercings, tattoos, etc. This behavior follows most people into adulthood and throughout their lives. Some people call it the “herd mentality,” but regardless of what you call it, I find it very dangerous to success. In a herd, there’s only one winner, the cow at the front, leading the herd. The lead cow eats first, drinks first and decides where the herd is going.

My study of super-successful people reveals that most, if not all, are “contrarians.” To a large extent, they go against the flow. Edison, Ford, Rockefeller, Churchill, Walton, Gates, Gandhi, King and the list goes on and on — all had reputations as contrarians. Not in the sense that they didn’t get along with people and know how to “build teams,” but in the sense that their thinking was contrary to the “mass-thinking.”

Are you thinking like the masses or like the “world –class?” Are you leading the herd or following the herd? If you’re not out front — now is the time to break out. As it’s been pointed out, the leader of the herd is always experiencing a change of scenery. Those following in the herd are always looking at the same thing. 🙂