Why Leaders Need To Be Unconventional Thinkers

Leaders Need To Be Unconventional Thinkers

Written By: Kevin Watson

7th July 2015

Leaders in organisations today need to be Unconventional Thinkers, possibly more than ever before.

In 1997, Apple ran a marketing campaign called “Here’s to the Crazy Ones“.

This, now famous campaign describes perfectly what all organisations need today, to help disrupt the outdated management and leadership thinking that still exists.

I’ve never liked categories; I’ve never liked boxes; I’ve always tried to be unconventional as much as I possibly could.Gary Dourdan

Unconventional Thinkers are those who do not conform because they won’t.

Because they are “The Crazy Ones.

However, being an Unconventional Thinker is never easy.

Overcoming the obstacles put in the way by the conventional thinkers is hard, and acceptance only really comes from success.

Having taken the choice to walk away from a successful career and set up my own business in 2003, some may consider me to be an Unconventional Thinker.

I don’t know about that.

But I do know that I’ve always admired those people who step out of the norm and I aspire to walk alongside them one day.

To me, unconventional thinking is approaching a problem and asking, ‘Why not? Why can’t something be done?’ If someone can’t give me a good reason why you can’t do something, I find a way to do it.Eli Broad

You see, I believe that today’s organisations need leaders who are Unconventional Thinkers.

We all need them and we need them right now!

Leaders who are not willing to conform to the normal way of doing things and will help shape new ways of working fit for the 21st Century.

Leaders who are prepared to be The Crazy Ones.

If you’ve never seen the video, take a look at it here:

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  1. John Rice

    Nice post Kevin – I do wonder sometimes though whether a label such as ‘The crazy ones’ might discourage some people who might otherwise be great at unconventional thinking if only they thought it wouldn’t put them at the fringe of a group, team, organisation or society?

    Perhaps there is a way to foster unconventional thinking with a more inclusive label? Assuming we want a label at all?!


    • Kevin Watson

      Hi John

      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

      Perhaps we should ask the crazy ones if the label fits? I suspect that Unconventional Thinkers are not too concerned about being on the fringe 🙂

      However, you may be right in wanting to create a more compelling category label that encourages conventional thinkers to think unconventionally.

      How about reaching back into the past for inspiration, as they put me in mind of the ancient philosophers?


    To me the ‘crazy ones’ title conjures up the image of those commonly known to be basically off-the norm though still independent thinkers; therefore requiring me as a person to put my emotional guard on to handle or deal with them. Its okay in my judgement. Thanks.

    • Kevin Watson

      Thanks for your comment, Helidah. The words ‘crazy ones’ will mean many things to many people, but I hope you’ll agree that it sums up those people that are ‘crazy’ enough to change our world for the better.


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