Are You Hungry Enough?©

How hungry are you – not for food or bodily sustenance, but for learning, growth, change and impact? More specifically, are you hungry enough to make the changes and create the outcomes that you desire personally and professionally? The trouble with not being hungry enough (aka being satisfied) is that if you’re not hungry, you will generally stay the course – perhaps with slight modifications or incremental adjustments. In contrast, meaningful shifts in thinking and action are made by people and leaders who are hungry … hungry enough.

Steve Jobs said, “Stay hungry and stay foolish.” Good advice for any leader, whether you are leading your business, an organization or a team. Similarly, Carlos Santana gave voice to the importance of staying hungry:

“If our history can challenge the next wave of musicians to keep moving and changing, to keep spiritually hungry and horny, that’s what it’s all about.”

What Jobs and Santana both recognize is that only the truly hungry will look at life and business in a way that will motivate them towards two critical types of thinking – crazy and unconventional. It is crazy and unconventional that makes things happen – the best things, the ones that change life in a positive way. In contrast, if you’re comfortable and satisfied, you’ll do what you’ve always done, you’ll achieve what you’ve always achieved and you’ll have only what you have always had – in business and in life.

In the late 1990’s, Apple introduced a memorable marketing campaign which featured many famous people and change agents. This campaign included print, radio and television and was embodied by two words – Think Different. This campaign kicked off with the memorable “Here’s to the crazy ones” commercial. Initially recorded by Steve Jobs himself, but later released with Richard Dreyfuss narrating the commercial, its visuals and words were impactful and inspiring. If you have not listened to it in a while (or ever), I highly encourage you to find it on YouTube and experience it. I also encourage you to listen to the version with Steve Jobs to experience his own passion for the concept and message.

The commercial featured the following iconic figures of history: Albert Einstein, Bob Dylan, Martin Luther King Jr., Richard Branson, John Lennon, Buckminster Fuller, Thomas Edison, Muhammad Ali, Ted Turner, Maria Callas, Mahatma Gandhi, Amelia Earhart, Alfred Hitchcock, Martha Graham, Jim Henson, Frank Lloyd Wright and Pablo Picasso – people that Apple referred to as some of the “Crazy Ones.” Read the script of the famous commercial and you will start to understand what Steve Jobs and Apple were talking about in defining the crazy ones:

 “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers.

The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently.

They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo.

You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.

About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward.

And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.

Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

 These are the people that “see things differently,” not merely think differently. These are the people that challenge the status quo and ask questions – different, difficult and often challenging questions. These are the boat rockers – not just for the sake of rocking the boat but to explore and push themselves and others beyond how they already think and believe. These are the passionate change agents committed to making things not just different, but better. They were and are the hungry ones!

These are the conscious leaders, who are willing to take the risks required to change the world for the good, often in the face of many challengers, detractors and even destroyers. People often work to bring down, figuratively and sometimes literally, the people who are seeking to change things. Are you one of the crazy ones? Are you ready to do what it takes and change how you think in order to create the desired changes in your business, your team, your relationships and your life? Are you hungry enough to be crazy and unconventional in your thinking, your actions and your leadership? Well, are you?

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