A tint of craziness often changes the world

Perspective: Why not go a little crazy?

Meghna Maiti

What makes a particular dish exotic and eye-appealing to the common people? What is the missing ingredient in a monotonous love story? What sets a mass-mobiliser apart from a normal politician? They surely manage to create a product or a movement, a particular spark that changes and transforms things. This particular streak could be called ‘craziness’ or ‘mania’ or whatsoever but undoubtedly there is a distinct advantage to this mind-set.

Entrepreneurs too swear by this ‘pinch of spice’ to get going and making a difference. Take for instance, Herb Kelleher, co-founder and chairman of Southwest Airlines, who invited the masses to the party by greatly reducing the price of entry and doing it profitably for decades. Charles Schwab, a banker, too came up with no-frills, low-cost brokerage service, at a time it was completely unthinkable. Then there is of course Richard Branson, the owner of Virgin group, who told his employees he owned a 51 per cent share in Virgin Atlantic airlines, just to convince them about the chances for success.

In India too, a lot of entrepreneurs such as Rahul Yadav of Housing.com, Bhavin Turakhia of Directi, Ravi Shankar Kailas of Mytrah Energy, Ashish Hemrajani of Bookmyshow, followed their own rules; did things their own way and managed to create successful products. By breaking the mould, they carved a niche for themselves.

In a highly bureaucratic, corporate-led professional world, where every employee is expected to put their blinkers on while working and stick to the narrow spaces, given to them, they lose their individuality or any sense of self, whatsoever. Their opinions or point of views are mostly not valued. When they speak up, they are immediately shut up or fired. Any distinct voice only comes from the ‘God’ himself of the organisation. Few blessed individuals who manage to break away from that cauldron then set themselves free. They feel free to try their own unique and crazy ways to create their own products.

Far from being direction-less or megalomaniac, they actually set their foot ahead for a more meaningful journey with a greater clarity and vision.

Hence, entrepreneurs are unapologetic about their wayward mannerisms. When they hire people too, they don’t often look at the CV, or the trappings of ivy league lineage. They judge the employees by their attitude, their individuality, gumption and courage and of-course determination which would see the company through. A slight crack in the brain is more than welcome, if one comes with the right intention.

Creating a culture where everything is constantly evolving and transforming also accommodates individual quirks and eccentricities. And such people are not dismissed off as morons, but given their due respect. It’s because- you never know- they could be the next ones who change the world.

What is the craziest or the most controversial thing you have ever done in your professional life? Please share your story.

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