Let’s talk about the ability to think for oneself. Reasoning against the popular grain tests grit, strength, and intellectual integrity; all necessary traits for genuine leaders.

Try this test: Gather any group of people, of any size and composition. Ask each of them: ‘Do you practice group-think?’ The universal response will be, ‘No. I think for myself.’

Naturally, that presents a problem. The exempt will give the same answer as the guilty. So how to distinguish?

What if there were a way to test for it? We would need a large public forum in which masses of people confidently expressed suspiciously similar thoughts, all of which ultimately proved to be completely wrong.

Happily, we have the mainstream media, who have been running that experiment over and over for the past few years.

With unwavering unanimity, the leading thinkers of the global media asserted that hotelier Donald Trump would never become president of the United States. (Fear not, my point here is not political. I merely need a useful instance of ‘group inaccuracy’ as a catalyst - bear with me).

Social media pundits faithfully echoed this view, en mass. A few quiet voices ventured the idea that, if he ran, he would likely win. These quiet voices were laughed down by the majority, who made no attempt to hide their derision. Yet the confident majority were utterly wrong. The few quiet voices had called it.

Then the same thinkers predicted that once Donald Trump assumed the presidency, the US economy would collapse. The social media masses followed. A few quiet voices suggested that actually, the US economy might do significantly better under a rules-and-legislation-repealing entrepreneur. These voices were mocked under the table by the majority. Yet the majority were not just wrong, but in this instance, spectacularly wrong, and growing increasingly more so by the month.

Most recently, the same voices asserted that US actions against Iran would certainly initiate World War III. We are now approximately one month into this World War III, and many have glanced out from beneath their bomb-shelters to notice that it hasn’t been all that bad, as global apocalypses go.

And so, today, we arrive at Brexit. The pundits, thinkers, analysts and media opinion-leaders who have spent the past few years repeatedly proving their inability to accurately forecast anything whatsoever are now forecasting, with iron-clad certainty, the pending economic ruin of Britain.

My point here is not whether they are wrong or right. And my point is not even a political one. My point is simply to ask you this: ‘Do you agree with them?’

Right now, there is no right or wrong answer to the question of Britain’s economic fate, because we simply don’t know. We don’t yet know what the actual outcome will be. It will be one of three things: Either the economy will do worse, in which case the majority will be right. Or it will do better, in which case the majority will be wrong. Or it will stay about the same, in which case the majority will also be wrong. Those are the options.

Instead, my interest, and my challenge to you, lies in the answer to this question: If you do agree with the majority, why do you agree with them? Is there any possibility - any whatsoever - that you are doing so because everyone is doing so?

Before you scoff, let’s run our initial experiment again, though with one small change: Gather a group of people, of any size or demographic. Ask them: ‘Do you know enough about economics to have a valid reason for your belief that Britain will fare poorly outside of the European Union?’

Everyone will say yes. Unanimously, those who genuinely do have valid insights into economics will answer in the affirmative right alongside those who do not.

Meanwhile, there are still, quiet voices suggesting that it might go exactly the opposite way. And they have interesting reasons for saying so. They are currently being mocked, scorned and ridiculed under the table by the majority, who know better.

The ability to think against the grain is rarer than most people realise. Everyone thinks they do it. Perhaps the only way to be certain that you don’t is to be…well…just a little uncertain. And to speak your beliefs not with volume and scorn alongside everyone else, but with a still and quiet voice. And for reasons. Not for conformity.

Douglas Kruger is a bestselling author and professional speaker. Meet him at www.douglaskruger.com