No doubt, no man is an island. Nor can one man accomplish anything significant on his own. This calls for abilities and strengths in others around him. Enlisting support is necessary for realizing vision. However, there is something everything heretic (must) understand(s).
Heretic leaders must learn not to try to get everyone involved in their cause. Yes you read that right. To just so you’re sure you read it right, here it comes again: Heretic leaders must learn not to try to get everyone involved in their cause. This is important especially in the early days.
Your cause does not and will not matter to everyone. Your challenge in garnering support for your enterprise is identifying those your cause will matter to. The people you must care the most about in building a following for your cause are those that share the same sentiments as you do. Trying to lead everyone will frustrate you and impede on realizing the cause.
It is easier for heretics to believe heretics. Stop trying to rally everyone & focus on heretics. No one cares more about change than other heretics; the ones who believe that change is necessary for growth and innovation.
Malcolm Gladwell in Tipping Point busts the myth that you need a throng of people to effect change. You don’t. Focus your energy on enlisting those that are ready for change or at least open to being convinced of the need for change. Only focus on the ones that are not willing to follow when it is absolutely necessary.
(Interestingly: the tagline to Gladwell’s book is, “How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference”)
So, what do you do when no one responds to your call the way you would like and enlists? For now ignore them and keep raising your voice. Raise awareness for what you are doing. Not only that be clear about why you are doing what you are doing.
Doing this consistently is evidence that you believe in your cause and that may be necessary testimony to present and potential supporters that your mission is worth pursuing. Your response is not to fight the naysayers; that will detract from your mission. Your response is to stay focus on the cause and building support.
One person can make a difference and everyone should try – John F. Kennedy
Heretics are often misunderstood and, as a result, not everyone will follow them. Even the greatest causes in the world do not have everyone following them. Rather have a small core of engaged and passionate supporters for your cause than a large indifferent crowd.
It is not the size of the crowd following but the impact they can make. Don’t stop punting your cause because you feel you are not great enough or that not enough people are following yet. Momentum is built up. Not everything you are going to do will get instant traction. Start by leading yourself and the few.