Crazy ideas are the ones that change the world


Leaders are often full of ideas. One of the things I love most when talking with leaders both young and old is to learn about the ideas they’re processing—whether it’s a new business, a new ministry, or a new way of doing things. However, one thing I’ve noticed when talking with these leaders is that they often preface their ideas with a disclaimer that it might be too crazy.

They’ll say things like…

“This might sound crazy…”

“I’m not sure if I can pull it off…”

Sometimes they’ll even ask if their idea is crazy. In each case, they present it with the mentality that just because it seems like an extraordinary idea, people won’t buy into it and their idea won’t succeed. In those cases, I love reminding them that crazy ideas are the ones that change the world. Don’t believe me?

We take it for granted now that the Earth is round, but for most of ancient history, humanity believed that the Earth was flat. The first practical proof of the world’s sphericity did not occur until Ferdinand Magellan and Juan Sebastian Elcano's circumnavigation of the globe.

Before Philip Estridge introduced the personal computer in the late 1980s, computer access was limited to governments and universities and they took up entire floors of buildings.

If Steve Jobs would have never implemented his idea for the iPhone, the way we use cell phones may have taken a totally different turn.

Based on these examples, I say that just because your idea seems “out of this world” doesn’t mean you should dismiss it. Here’s why:

  • It’s the craziness that makes the idea stand out. No one is going to pay attention to your idea unless it shakes things up a bit. Why? Because if your idea doesn’t challenge the status quo, it’s not going to change anything. The crazy ideas are the ones that get noticed.
  • It’s the craziness that makes them criticized. With notoriety comes criticism. Because your idea challenges the status quo, it will face criticism. However, just because your idea isn’t supported by everyone doesn’t mean it’s not worth it. Take the greatest world-changer in history, for example. Jesus’ ideas were criticized so much He was killed because of them.
  • It’s the craziness that makes them worth accomplishing. Achieving a crazy idea requires a willingness to stick yourself out there, make yourself uncomfortable, and violate the status quo. This is what prevents 99 percent of people from ever acting upon their ideas. However, when you have an idea that might seem crazy, it just might be crazy enough to push you to venture down a path where no one else is willing to go.

What’s your crazy idea?