We’ve all heard the adage, “Perception is reality.” But have we stopped to think just how important that statement really is? Every brand wants to be The Brand in their space. The greatest brands, however, create an entirely new space and dominate it. Being a great leader is about creating a new reality and making it true for others.

There’s a very interesting video on YouTube that really made me think about this. Now, the host of this channel definitely embraces the hyperbolic and the dramatic, so his delivery may not be for everyone. But the core of what he talks about absolutely holds true.

Are You a Real Leader?

Revolutionary leaders — regardless of industry — distort reality. They do this by changing our perception of the world around us. We take modern aviation for granted, but there was a time in the not-too-distant past when man flying was a fantasy. The Wright brothers changed our perception of what was fantasy and what was real, and changed the world forever.

Steve Jobs imagined a device that would use digital screens to alter the way we live our daily lives, interact with one another and consume content. Today, his imaginary device is now at the center of our reality as a modern digital society.

So many brands today say they want to be the Uber of this industry or that space, emulating someone else’s success rather than creating their own. From a PR and marketing perspective, the greatest excitement comes from working with companies that don’t want to be something or someone else. They want to be original. They want to bring something new to the table that distorts the way people perceive their reality and creates a new one.

Those are the types of brands that become leaders. Those are the ones the media and influencers flock to. They inspire others to see the world in a new way, shifting paradigms and moving things in exciting new directions.

Be the Catalyst

Social media didn’t exist 20 years ago. Today, it is inseparable from mainstream culture and has become one of, if not, the most powerful public relations, marketing and sales tool ever. The Instagrams, Snapchats, Twitters and Pinterests that marketers rely on every day wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for a kid sitting in his dorm room at Harvard nearly two decades ago who decided to change the way people socialize. That platform, which was originally called The Facebook, made $5.8 billion last year.

When you fundamentally change the way people perceive the world around them, you become the leader and trusted brand of that space. It changes the way people absorb, process and interact with content. There is no better PR and communications strategy than being the catalyst for changing the way people perceive reality, thus changing their actual reality. The question is, can you do it?