A “Black Sheep” Moment – Take a Risk

When my friend Ed Banayat was in junior high, his coach did a leadership exercise with his class. The coach sent 7 people whom he thought should be captain out of the room. He had the remaining 25 people stay.

He drew two circles on the board.  One was slightly smaller than the other, but it was obvious which one was bigger. He then brought the 7 captain candidates back in the room individually. He announced that he had to give everyone a “vision” test.

While all the classmates were in the room, he asked each, one by one, Which circle is bigger? Each of the 25 had been told to pick the smaller one. When it got to the captain candidates, each one, one by one, agreed that the smaller one was bigger.

It finally got down to the last candidate. When it came to him, he stood up and said, “Maybe I need glasses, but you guys are all picking the wrong one” and pointed to the actual bigger circle.

The coach gathered everyone in the room after the exercise and asked each captain candidate why they had chosen the smaller circle.

Six of them stated something along the lines of “Well, everyone else was choosing the smaller one” or “It was safer to be wrong with everyone else than to risk being the only one being right.”  They figured that it would be embarassing to get the wrong answer and it was easier to fit in with the crowd.

The seventh person that got the answer right said, “I could tell that one was bigger.  I figured that the worst thing that could happen is that I could be wrong and needed glasses.”

Guess who became the captain?  Yup, the Black Sheep whop was willing to go against the grain and stand up for what he thought to be true. He took a risk – a risk to be different than everyone else.

How inspiring to  go against the grain, even if you can stand out in the wrong way.

Take a risk. Follow your heart.