Great Minds Think Apart

I’m going to rub people the wrong way. There is not much I can do about it. You may not like me after this.

I believe Hitler had a great mind.

Hitler and the Rabbit Hole

Did Hitler have a normal mind? No.

Did Hitler’s moral compass align with mine? Not even close.

Did Hitler assess his strengths and weaknesses? Yes.

Did he use his strengths against other’s weaknesses? Yes.

Did Hitler stand apart in his ideas and act on them? Yes.

Hitler was brilliant in getting what he wanted and pressed on to the bitter end.

Great and Good are Two Different Things

The mind is a tool to govern your body and possibly influence other’s minds into your thinking. If you are proficient at accomplishing this, your mind may be considered great.

Some people use force to influence others. Hitler mainly used tactics including opportunistic timing, public speaking, and heuristics.

Hitler was not a well-rounded ‘normal’ person. He was a shrewd leader in his time, governing bodies of people to do things against their individual morals.

This is wrong, but it was great and powerful.

Enough of Hitler. He is history.

Different Kinds of Great

Great minds are everywhere. People are abundant and the characteristics of a great mind are prolific.

You can name a person who is smart, witty, and wise in about 2 seconds. The hard part is to distinguish this person from all other peoples, especially if great minds think alike.

Here is the problem. Great does not typically go with the word alike (a collocation). Great is always away from normal. With so many people being great, that would be normal.

Great usually starts out as sideways, away from, upside down, or reversed from the normal. Many people’s greatness is unknown until perspective changes and people start measuring a different way.

Unfortunately, great is left unseen until something drastic or influential happens.

Mining for Greatness

I get excited about what people inside companies are doing today. Companies, both small and large, are changing methods to find people and their hidden greatness.

You probably know about Google’s 20% self-project time.

Indeed, many companies are focusing on employees and culture directly. When people feel safe and have time to focus and work hard, greatness can come out.

Some companies and managers try to force greatness by requiring group diversity, heavy monetary incentives, or critical punishment. These typically don’t work.

Find Your Greatness

It doesn’t happen in a day. It doesn’t happen in 20 hours. Your greatness is your unique perspective on situations and application away from the normal.

The better you can define your position and have others see what you see, the more you become great, at least in their eyes.

Take a problem you are going through and look at it sideways, upside-down, and backwards. Can you change yourself before your start or even put a constraint on the situation before starting (like, what if you only had half the time)?

Whatever you come up with, away from the norm, will make you great.

Conclusion: tl;dr

Great minds think different than every other person. They come at a situation from different angles and intensities.

Great does not mean good. Great is simply on a different level than the norm. Sometimes that level seems lower or ‘off’ until perspective changes.

Digging for greatness is hard work. Many have the idea wrong. You can only find greatness by allowing and priming it to happen.