To all the Heretic Leaders that have challenged and added value to LeadershipHeretic.com: THANK YOU. Thanks for being a part of a community of leaders that believe in the essence of leadership: initiating, defining and leading change.
Take time out to recharge for a refreshed outlook and greater passion in the new year. Rest is necessary for effective leadership. Need for some change only becomes clear after stepping away for a while, with fresh eyes. Tired leaders are ineffective leaders. Do something that doesn’t necessarily fall in line with what you do everyday so you can come back to your great task of changing the world with a renewed passion.
Leadership Heretic will be taking a break till the 2013, with new and exciting things to help you shatter the status quo and change your world and the world for greater. Leadership Heretic will be recharging to serve you better. (There may not be any posts between now and 2013 and there might be.) Remember to connect with Leadership Heretic on Twitter, Google+, Facebook or Send a voice message. In the meantime you can catch up on posts for this year here. Catch you in 2013. Be bold. Be /ˈherətik/.
We may say we’re not but act like we are. Perfect, that is. The truth still stands; no one is perfect. Everyone generally accepts this for everybody else except when they feel violated by others.
Worse, still, when it is a leader that has failed. Whether you’re a leader in particular context or a part of a team being led, you’re aware of the shortcomings of those you serve with and those whose supervision you serve under.
I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.
Momentum enhances traction. Whether in general life or leadership, it is desirable for propelling us. In fact, leaders often wrestle with the question on how to build great momentum.
In personal lives we wonder how to get momentum for new ventures we’ve taken on and at other times for things we’ve been at for a long while. Momentum is built. Some times things do just happen and, voila! Some of our endeavors get a life of their own, so to speak.
When this happen the scramble is often how to keep up. When we feel we have a handle on things the next thought and challenge is how do we maintain this. For some, the thought is, “How can we even make this bigger”.
Movement and momentum seem to compliment each other. Somehow we carry a fear of either not being in motion or moving too slow. When things have been difficult, we’re glad to have little movement, and we appreciate with a phrases such as, “at least we’re moving forward”.
You and I have to be careful that our desire for even the tiniest step does not come from a place of fear of stopping. Stopping a particular activity, be it in your personal capacity or at an organizational level, may mean the death of some things.
We often do not want to be responsible for the death of some things. We get better when we stop some things. Chances are, you thought of something you could stop just after reading the previous sentence. We get better when we stop some things.
The death some things is often the womb of other things. In fact some things can never get life as long as other things still have life. Death of our activities and endeavors may be the best thing for greater ones waiting to come to life in and through us.
Fight the fear of stopping what you know you need to stop, so you can get better, greater in areas you desperately need to. Feeling sorry and guilty for parasitic activities may kill not only your dreams but you also.
Sometimes stopping may not be permanent. This is called rest. Sometimes stepping away from the frustrating mundane allows us to recoup and return with fresher vision and greater passion. We fear stopping because we think things will fall apart if we do; yet nothing ever does.
Think about the times you really could never get around to doing something. Or you were down the flu. When you got back on feet there were more times that nothing really changed much that there were times they completely came undone.
Continuing in endeavors that you know you should be stopping does nothing to better anything. You don’t need more courage to stop. You just need to decide and act. Stop what you need to stop. Start again on the same thing when you’re renewed. Or, start something completely new. Build your momentum. Never be afraid to ask, “Is this time to push for greater momentum or to stop?”
What makes stopping for you a difficult thing to do?
There is an inherent desire in us to be distinct, to stand out. There’s something ‘uncool’ about being a copy of another. Something interesting, though, is that we sometimes feel we’re different from our competition or those around us because we are doing something new and unique that someone else or another enterprise is already doing. It’s like teenagers trying to stand out yet looking exactly like their peers.
Some questions worth exploring:
Sometimes the reason enterprises do something is what separates them. For instance, two enterprises might manufacture the same product for different reasons; one to support the underprivileged and the other to make as much as they can for themselves. The products may essentially be the same but the motives not. Does this really make them different? Does this give a competitive advantage to the other?
Because of diverse opinions and approaches, the same end may be pursued by different means. Means have different by-products. Means matter; they determine “residue” on the way to results. Some means are destructive and others add value on the way to the ultimate goal.
“When” something is done can be a matter of motives. When can determine the difference it makes. Timing makes a difference. For instance, it is more pertinent and makes a greater difference to offer a helping hand when it is necessary. When all the work is done, it is no longer relevant.
The Bottom Line
“Being different” per se, is not enough as a goal. The ultimate goal of “being different” must be the reason for being different. Choose your own “different” but not for the sake of it. Does your “different” matter? Some things may matter to you but what ultimate difference do they make to the outside world? What impact does your enterprise make as a result of being or seeing itself as “different”. What impact do your different values make beyond the internal environment of your enterprise? Being different as a value does not matter if it is only upheld internally and does not make a difference in meeting need outside of your team’s context.
Every enterprise and leader must answer this question:
How different are we and, what difference does our being “different” really make?