Whenever a paradigm shift occurs, we end up witnessing new leaders emerge. The interesting thing is that these new leaders are often not the experts in the industry they work. Think about Elon Musk. He became the leader in space technology not due to advanced degrees in aerospace engineering, but because he could hold a large vision despite the actual experts who continuously refuted it.
Entrepreneurs into Leaders
The leaders of industrial paradigm shifts will inevitably be entrepreneurs, as holding an impossible vision becomes more important than any technical need. But why?
Experts have the knowledge, and can be found grounded in the basic foundations of their industry. In this respect they can be instrumental in micro industrial advancements.
Why can’t the experts lead the way in an industrial paradigm shift?
In order to revolutionize or shift an industry, we must shake the foundation of the industry. It takes someone outside the industry to question the foundation and ask the all-important question, “what if we could do it differently?”
How do we realize a vision without experts? We don’t.
If the vision is big or impossible enough, you have to understand that it will become a magnet for the best of the best in that industry. The brightest minds seem to be attracted to new and innovative things, but dare not question their own foundation. So the idea of being PART of a paradigm shift is the perfect combination of safety AND excitement.
Elon Musk had the best in engineering begging to be a part of his vision, and in one meeting, Elon brought up the idea of a solar solution to charge the battery of a Tesla as you were driving. A very privileged and assured engineer claimed, “With all due respect, this just isn’t possible.” The only response from Musk: “Do you want to be in this meeting, or not?”
Now think about the bravery of that question…. it takes a lot of courage to hold an impossible vision over the opinions of industry experts. It’s not better to be either, however it is imperative you get clear on whether you’re a vision holder or an industry expert.