Getting Crazy

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Run to crazy people. Avoid comfortable people.

Teammates, who think like you, are irrelevant. They take up space and suck oxygen. Reserve chairs and air for crazies. Invite in those who see differently.

Punish silent agreement and reward dissent.

Strong leaders seek options, alternatives, and diversity. Weak leaders build weak teams filled with empty heads and spineless politicians.

Lean into crazy not away, when building teams.

The people closest to me drive me crazy. They move faster or slower, take more risks or fewer, take more time to think or less, than I do. Their caution, or lack of caution, for example, drives me nuts. Why can’t they be like me?

A team of crazies must:

  1. Fight nice. Belligerence, arrogance, and rudeness are not allowed on effective teams. Nasty is easy. Good crazy is nice. Bad crazy is plugging your ears and screaming la la la la to block out others.
  2. Get over it. Clinging to offenses grantees mediocrity.
  3. Respect each others gift.  Respect them now; like them later.
  4. Develop maturity. Immaturity demands agreement.
  5. Share values. Crazies may look at things differently but core – agreed upon behaviors – protect and nurture craziness. The most important conversation new teams have is how will we be together.

Great crazies:

  1. Learn. Crazies who won’t learn are truly crazy.
  2. Adapt. Someone who won’t adapt is a jerk, not strong.
  3. Share vision. Nothings worse than a team of crazies pulling in different directions.
  4. Work hard.
  5. Produce results.
  6. Enjoy craziness.
  7. Grab an oar and row once decisions are made – whether they got their way or not.


The point of diversity – craziness – is rich decision-making not balance. The “B” word tastes like vomit in the back of my throat. A team of passionate crazies produces extraordinary not average or balance.

How can leaders invite craziness and create cohesion on teams?

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