Are Dyslexics Better Visionaries?

More than a third of business owners—Richard Branson and Ted Turner among them—may be dyslexic says a new documentary featuring entrepreneurs who say the reading disorder is a gift.

Are Dyslexics Better Visionaries?

What's the Latest Development?


The new documentary film, Journey into Dyslexia examines the role of dyslexia in the lives of successful entrepreneurs and corporate leaders around the world. Directed by Alan and Susan Raymond, it presents several prominent dyslexic adults including Ben Foss, inventor of the Intel Reader;Steve Walker, New England Wood Pellet founder and CEO; and Carol Greider, Ph.D., a 2009 Nobel Laureate in Physiology and Medicine. Dyslexia has a seemingly long and prominent role in inspiring entrepreneurial genius: Richard Branson, Charles Schwab, Ted Turner, and Cisco CEO John Chambers are all dyslexic. Even Henry Ford had the disorder. 

What's the Big Idea?

"The correlation betweeen dyslexia and entrepreneurship has long been a subject of scientific inquiry. In 2004, the Cass Business School in London found that 20 percent of English entrepreneurs polled said they were dyslexic, while managers 'reflected the UK national dyslexia incidence level of 4 percent.' In the U.S., however, the results were even more persuasive: the same researchers behind the U.K. study found that 35 percent of American entrepreneurs surveyed identified themselves as dyslexic." When Big Think asked Richard Branson about his dyslexia, he said that he found conventional schoolwork hopeless and decided he needed "to carve his own way" in life. 

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