International Left-Handers Day

In fourth grade I changed my writing so that it looked back-handed, the way left-handers write. I think I thought it might make me more distinctive – or maybe it was just because it was the way my best friend wrote.

In the Personal Mastery workshops I used to run I’d always notice the left-handers (there were usually one or two, in a group of 20, which makes sense since around 10% of people are left-handed). They’d often turn out to be interesting in some way, if only because teachers had tried to switch them and they’d resisted.

But this is pretty amazing to me: 18% of U.S. Presidents have been left-handed, including 4 of the last 5 (only the little undistinguished shrub was not). Does sticking out when you’re young, having to do things differently from other people, make it easier to become a leader? Alexander the Great, Charlemagne, Julius Caesar, Napoleon, and Queen Victoria might agree.

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