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Left-Handed, Dyslexic Entrepreneurs are the Most Successful Leaders

left-hand-writingLeft-handed people comprise about 10% of the population. Yet 57% (four) of our last seven Presidents have been lefties.

Presidents George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter were righties. (Although, some people assert Reagan was a leftie who became ambidextrous because he was “cracked by the ruler” as a school kid.)

Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Gerald Ford were all lefties. (Although, Ford said in his autobiography that he wrote with his right-hand when he was standing. We wonder which hand he used when he was tripping? :-)

Since we’re both lefties, we were really curious about this phenomenon. What explains this seemingly huge imbalance between the general population and Presidents? It’s simple:

Lefties make better leaders.

The left side of our brains is ruled by logic; the right side by intuition. Left-handed people are more likely to use the right hemisphere of their brain. While logic is important for leaders, intuition rules – especially in times of uncertainty and crisis.

The success of dyslexic entrepreneurs

We couldn’t find any studies about the handedness of entrepreneurs. However, about 10% of the population is dyslexic.

It is commonly cited that a disproportionate share of dyslexics are left-handed. Research has shown that dyslexia affects 35% of all entrepreneurs and just 1% of managers in the corporate world. This same study showed that, on average, dyslexic entrepreneurs:

  • are more likely to be serial entrepreneurs
  • grow their businesses faster
  • hire more employees

Coping for BIGG success

The researchers assert that entrepreneurs with dyslexia may grow faster as a coping mechanism. They learned to delegate at a young age, finding people who could easily do things they found difficult.

This ability to recruit and work with key people is an advantage in building an entrepreneurial enterprise. The need to hire people to help shore up the entrepreneur’s own strengths creates a pressure to grow faster.

As a business grows, structure is required to continue serving customers effectively and efficiently. The researchers postulate that entrepreneurs with dyslexia may feel stressed by this structure. So they choose to sell the business and move on to another entrepreneurial endeavor. Entrepreneurs without dyslexia are more comfortable with structure so they tend to stick with one business longer.

An opportunity for government officials and venture capitalists


Lefties make better leaders.

Lefties are more likely to be dyslexic.

People with dyslexia are more successful entrepreneurs.

Therefore, if we’re going to grow our economy…

We should look for left-handed people with dyslexia who want to be entrepreneurs.

Government officials should start programs to locate and encourage these potential venturers.

Venture capitalists can refine their screening process and just look for left-handed entrepreneurs with dyslexia.

What if you’re not a left-handed dyslexic?

Before we close, we want to speak to all of you who aren’t left-handed dyslexics. Is there any hope for you? Of course there is.

Remember that it’s April Fool’s Day!

We made two (at least) logic errors in our analysis above:

  • “Lefties make better leaders.”

    While it’s interesting that such a high percentage of our recent Presidents have been left-handed, there’s no evidence to indicate that lefties make better leaders than righties.

  • “It is commonly cited that a disproportionate share of dyslexics are left handed.”

    While we found numerous people making this assertion, we found no credible research to back it up.

The benefit of being YOU

So what’s the point? Was this whole post just a ruse? No.

We wanted to highlight that YOU have an advantage. It’s up to YOU to find it. Nature has endowed YOU with certain characteristics – handedness, dyslexic or not, etc.

Your environment has afforded YOU with certain experiences unique to YOU. Your perceptions, knowledge and know-how are all yours.

Your duty, should you choose to accept it, is to find where your endowments and your experiences are leading YOU.

Once you find that, YOU are ready to build a life, not just make a living. That’s life on your own terms! That’s BIGG success!

Image in this post from tulp