Steve Jobs. Genghis Khan. Alan Turing. What do they have in common?
Steve Jobs – see iPhone. Itunes. MacBook. Apple. I don’t really have to go into detail do I?
Through violence and extreme cunning, Genghis Khan disrupted the entire thought-process of the ancient world. He established the first known dynasty that encouraged religious freedom while dismantling the entirety of the Middle Ages. Many credit him as the father of modern society.
We have much (if not all) of our initial advancement in computer logic and computer science to Alan Turing. Oh yes… and winning World War II.
There are many similarities and (of course) extreme differences between the few mentioned above. There are also many names that could be placed within this list of “world changers.” I’m not here to write about the habits of a happy life because frankly, I don’t think many of the people above had a happy life in the conventional sense. They sacrificed things that many people hold dear whether family, friends and/or self-preservation. The question we are asking is simply, “What does it take to change the world?”
1. They break rules.
2. They are obsessive…. obsessively compulsive.
3. They work constantly.
The same concepts apply to any leader, manager or businesses professional. Do I believe that you can truly shift a paradigm by only working 8 hours a week? No. You can’t. I also don’t believe that “hacks” can lead to a better way of life. It takes hard work and sacrifice.
Elon Musk isn’t building the next generation of transportation by working 50 hours a week. Take this quote from a recent WSJ article, “He calls himself a “nano-manager,” works about 100 hours a week and still runs the auto maker largely as he did before it sold the first Tesla Roadster in 2008. “I have OCD on product-related issues,” he says with a laugh. “I always see what’s… wrong. Would you want that? When I see a car or a rocket or spacecraft, I only see what’s wrong. I never see what’s right. It’s not a recipe for happiness.”
Do you want people to shift their way of thinking and follow you? Do you want to lead a revolution within your company or business? Break the rules governing them. Genghis Khan broke every rule in the book when it came to steppe warfare and through it, united a Mongol kingdom that would rule most of the known world for centuries.
You might not be the next Alan Turing or Elon Musk but you do have the ability to work hard and shift your sphere of influence (think first and second degree connections on LinkedIn). You have to work hard, be obsessive about what you love and break the rules governing the normal.