I stumbled across a blogger who commented (with seeming surprise) that the founder of Google “seemed like a regular guy.” In my experience, many highly successful people come across this way if you meet them in private. People with confidence in themselves seem to leap over the vast middle in most arenas – bad haircuts, awkward table manners, and all. They get to the top (whether that’s CEO of Google or just president of the local parks commission) by ignoring most of the rules people “in the middle” use to make sure their neighbors don’t advance before they do.
A friend of mine, an accomplished playwright with a graduate degree, shared (with concern) that her boss demanded she “take a grammar class.” Why? She wrote successful grant proposals; he wrote proposals that were not funded. So, he focused on a couple of typos he was able to find in her work.
As the late Richard Carlson, author of Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, noted – you can hire a proofreader to clean up the style for a good writer who can’t spell. What you cannot do is fix boring ideas or the inability to recognize an interesting story or relevant topic.
Maybe people are just wary to admit to themselves that their efforts to become something other than “regular guys” have been a waste of their time.