DCL 4.5 Instruction | Question the Acceptance of Popular Thinking

Video Presentation: John Hull, President / CEO, EQUIP

A leading economist once said, “The difficulty lays not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping the old ones.” He was right. Going against popular thinking can be difficult. It is much easier to float down­stream than to swim against the current. If you refuse to follow the crowd and insist on making decisions based upon what is right rather than what is popular, you will be quite unpopular at times. Why should you question popular thinking?


Consider these observations:

1.  Popular thinking is too average to understand excellence.

2.  Popular thinking is too inflexible to embrace change.

3.  Popular thinking is too small to see the big picture.

4.  Popular thinking is too traditional to be creative.

5.  Popular thinking is too undisciplined to be strategic.

6.  Popular thinking sometimes means not thinking.

7.  Popular thinking offers false hope.


Popular thinking has often proven to be wrong. Popular thinking said the earth was flat. Popular thinking said the earth was the center of the universe. Popular thinking approved of human slavery. Popular think­ing argued that a man would never walk on the moon. Yes, popular thinking is often wrong. It assumes that because a thing has not been done before, it can never be done.


Steps to Follow in Questioning Popular Thinking:

1.  Think before you follow.

2.  Keep people around you whose thinking is different from yours.

3.  Continually question your own thinking.

4.  Try new things in new ways.

5.  Commit yourself to finding new solutions.


When John Maxwell was growing up, most leadership experts concluded that leadership could not be taught. They argued that leaders are born, not trained and developed. John rejected that thinking and wrote Developing the Leader Within You. Because he rejected popular thinking, thousands of men and women have become effective leaders as they learned and applied the principles taught in that book and many of his other leadership volumes.




  • Do you have people around you who think differently?
  • How can you create an environment where they feel they can express their different ideas to you?
  • Can you encourage them further by implementing any of their ideas?




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DCL Instruction Media and Notes © EQUIP Million Leaders Mandate Volume 2