The Heretics’ Ego and Confidence

Ego and confidence are not the same. The fruit of both is bold expression of vision; a tangible passion, hence either being mistaken for the other. Being bold is a must for every heretic leader. Confidence is necessary for building significant support for your cause. It is easy for heretics to be considered arrogant because of challenging the status quo. Anyone challenging the norm is, at first, treated with suspicion and cynicism. If you are going to be successful in leading change, you must make peace with this fact.

the hretics' ego and confidence
confident proclamation of your cause is necessary but don’t let ego get in the way | image by celine nadeau | cc

For you, heretic, it is important to make sure that your ego does not get in the way and become a stumbling block. Be confident not arrogant. A healthy ego is necessary. However, a misdirected ego will easily jeopardize your cause. Crossing the line between confidence and being egocentric happens when you are more concerned about your reputation as an achiever and not the reform you want to bring about.

Arrogance comes to the fore when your focus shifts from the cause to people.

Heretics are inherently visionary. Hence the vision for greater is a very personal and intimate thing. This is why it will sometimes it will hurt when the naysayers assault your vision, methods or cause. Your ego can overtake you and blind you when you take an attack on your ideas personally. For heretics to survive the scourge of attacks they must not take anything personally. Consider any attack on the change you are bringing as an attack on your idea and not yourself. Some may attack you directly. When that happens direct the attacks to the idea and vision and not your person. After all, they would not raise their voice if you had not brought your ideas to the fore.

Arrogant rants will shift people’s focus from your cause to personalities

The display of ego is normally an invite for onslaughts against you. Confidence may have a similar effect on people… When this happens, express confidence in your vision and the ability of your team to make it happen. Including those that already back you affirms them and shows the critics you are not an egocentric maniac.  Obsessing over protecting your ego will take the focus of what you trying to achieve. Heretics keep the cause at the heart of what their do. They value the cause more than their ego. They act in confidence for the sake of the cause and shun arrogance.

Remember, your cause is more important than your ego; put it first. Be bold. Be /ˈherətik/.

Grieving A Dream?

Grief is not an easy thing. While we all may grieve, they don’t grieve the same. We grieve the loss of loved ones, but that is not the only thing we grieve. We grieve everything dear to us.

Things that matter to us impact us greatly when they come into our lives and, sadly when they die a death of sort. Dreams are some of those things that dear to us. Intimate.

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Lessons From Preparing for We Run Jozi 10k

This post is a part of the We Run Jozi Series 

I’m not as passionate about running as I am about squash (the sport). I would rather play squash than run. Despite this, I signed up to run Nike’s We Run Jozi 10 kilometer run. I’ve always wanted to run a ten and twenty kilometer run for the fun and experience.

This race happens to be very different from most hence my decision to run it. (I might just do a separate post to fully explain).  We Run Jozi is a ten-kilometer night run on the 7th of October in Johannesburg. (Jozi is Johannesburg’s nickname).

I have not been as fit as I would like to be, but I hit the road in preparation just after signing up. If you want to complete, let alone win, a race you have no choice but to prepare. It is just downright stupid to get into a race you have not prepared for and expect to win. Do the work.

lessons from preparing for we run jozi 10k

dare yourself; expect more from yourself and pursue it without relenting

While preparing for the We Run Jozi 10k I’ve had reminders of lessons I already know. I know you’re like me. You don’t always remember everything you learn and need encouragement and reminders of lessons. Here are a few of the lessons I’ve learned or been reminded of as I prepare for the Nike Jozi 10k:

Prepare

 

This is rather obvious and I have already intimated that you have no choice but to prepare. Preparation is the first step to reaching your goals. Only a fool would want to start building something without counting the cost. How you prepare communicates how serious you are about something.

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe – Abraham Lincoln

If we your preparation is what to go by, how serious are you about your dreams or aspirations. You will only be able to perform to the level of your readiness.

Feelings

 

All have feelings. It is easy to do something when you feel like you can do it. In fact, most commitments are made at the height of emotion. The true test of your resolve is after the hype is gone. There are some days that I really do not feel like running. Sometimes I feel like not completing my goal for my run because I start feeling like I cannot continue.

When you have set your goals your feelings must become irrelevant if you are going to realize them.

Those who consult their feelings in pursuit of goals will soon see the demise of their goals. Once you set goals, do not consult your feelings. Set a time and routine and Just Do It. If you wait for your feelings you might never get started. Do what you need to do. Focus on what you’ll ultimately gain and not the momentary discomfort.

Target

 

My ultimate goal is to finish the 10-kilometer run in under an hour. This is a big deal for someone who does not like running. (I run because the squash courts are not close by and I need to keep fit). My primary goal in preparation was to run five kilometers consistently, non-stop. I have been slowly increasing my distance while trying to beat my average time.

You will never achieve your ultimate goal in one leap. You need the smaller or short-term goals.

Consistency

 

You will not get better with time. You get better with effort and commitment over time. Practicing inconsistently will not help you get better. It is when you consistently do things to keep getting better.

You must be intentional about your consistency.

Set a time and minimum distance everyday and see yourself getting better.

Small

 

Small changes combined become a big change. In my preparation I’ve made small changes that have caused significant growth. For instance, I’ve included that small ‘climbs’ (inclines). It has not been easy taking them on but it has helped me handle a longer incline on my run. You must not despise small, incremental changes by holding out on them with the hope to make one big change to better your game.

Small changes over time are easier to manage than one big sudden change.

Music

 

I have been using RunKeeper to record and measure my runs. However, at the moment I’m trying out Nike+. What I like about Nike+ is that I can manage the music from it. I’ve loaded the music that inspires me in the playlist. The lesson:

find inspiration to do what you set out to do as a way of countering the voices that tell you to quit.

The best way to deal with the voices of discouragement is to take on positive counter actions against them. Amplify your inspiration and not the ‘voices’ telling you to quit.

Do yourself a favour and check out the other posts in the series. Receive blog posts directly in you email or in your rss reader

What can you share from your preparations for a final showdown (like my 10k run)?

Change and Being (Mis)Understood

Not all change you will make will be all you. It is folly and or arrogant to think you can change everything alone. However, you have to embrace seasons you will have to act alone.

The lonely seasons are the ones that test your resolve. The ones who keep going in the rough seasons, those who persevere are the ones that will eventually get the following and support to even push the cause farther.

To push your cause you will need the backing of a “crowd”. Crowd does not have to be a horde; it can be a small core team, sharing the same passion and vision.

To build a following you will need to communicate your vision; unashamedly punt your cause. You have to let people know what you’re about.

change and being misunderstood

worry about not being heard instead of being misunderstood

You will have to rally support by communicating with other (potential) heretics. However, communicating is not guarantee that you people will readily embrace your message or cause.

Communication is a more than necessary first step. Getting people to understand what you are communicating is the next challenge. In communicating your message be sure to make your message for change, for the greater, as clear as possible.

Again, a clear message is no guarantee that you will be heard and embraced. Do not lose heart.

Not every heretic is understood all the time, every time.  When you work on creating something new, you are creating something new. In other words, it has never been.

Do not expect everybody to embrace something they have never been exposed to. Heretics define the future by shattering the present’s status quo.

New is new. There is not always a point of reference for new things.

The future you attempt to create is not as clear to others as it is to you, yet. Expect to be misunderstood. Do not take it personally. Heretics see beyond the status quo. Being misunderstood is part of heretics’ journey to define the future.

You will never achieve anything significant if you seek everyone to understand first before you take any action. Many will only understand the change you seek to bring when they see and experience its results.

Nothing stalls progress than always seeking consensus in everything. Leaders are there to lead. Unity is important. You must keep in mind, though, that unity is not necessarily signified by agreement in everything always. Leading will sometimes entail making calls not everyone agrees with. Be bold.

Act despite who understands. They may not like you or the change you seek to bring now but they will thank you later. Being understood tells you that you are in the future as others use the status quo as their lens. Be bold. Be /ˈherətik/

Bold

Followers naturally respond better to bold statements, decisions and actions compared to indecisiveness. Supporters you cause are accelerators. As easily as they can help build momentum for the cause you lead, a lack of boldness can make them part of the machinery that destroys your momentum, discrediting your leadership and ultimately the cause.

Continue reading “Bold”