Birds of Different Feathers

In many areas we see high-achieving people just hanging out with other high-achieving people. You've probably seen some of the famous photographs at the beginning of the twentieth century with Thomas Edison and George Eastman (of photography fame) posing with Harvey Firestone and Henry Ford. These were all brilliant men of their time in different areas of endeavor who associated with each other to borrow each other's brilliance and to stimulate each other's thoughts.

In contemporary life, Steven Spielberg hangs around with some of the icons of Silicon Valley; they're not even in the same industry, which is an excellent way to germinate ideas, as we discussed earlier.

In one of the original professional and personal development books, Think and Grow Rich, author Napoleon Hill speaks to a concept he calls a "Mastermind." He says that in order to be high achievers, we need to associate our thoughts with other high achievers, and they don't even have to be people we know. They can be dead people. They can even be people from fiction: Sherlock Holmes, Nancy Drew, Indiana Jones.

When I first started my ad agency years ago, I had a "psychic board of directors." Ad legend Bill Bernbach, who is deceased, was on that psychic board of directors. The Beatles were on my psychic board of directors. Jimi Hendrix was on my psychic board of directors. My previous boss was on my psychic board of directors. In fact, when I ran into him and told him, he said, "I haven't received any checks." And I replied, "Well, I've been sending you psychic wealth all these years."

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