Apr
23

Heretical Leadership

by  Mike Henry  |  Leadership Development

Fitting In

Our world encourages us to fit in.  Sure there are many on the Internet and in popular media who seem to suggest that we should stand out.  Seth Godin is one of many that have embraced the individualistic appeal of the Internet age (or the Individual Age) and encouraged people to stand out and make a difference.  A number of great books and great writers have proposed that we buck the trends of the last 100 years and begin to organize, lead and inspire differently.

But the infrastructure still encourages us to fit in.  An example I can use has to do with my experience as I’ve connected with others thorough The Lead Change Group.  I’m often asked to either market to, or make decisions for, the people who read our blog or who participate in the group.  That’s what we do.  We get a bunch of followers and then we sell them something, right?  I should be marketing to you, selling ads on the website or promoting other programs for a share of the profit, etc.   Most every month someone asks me to promote something they’re doing.

Standing out

Over 3 years ago, I ventured into leadership development and business for myself to understand what it was that I really wanted to do.  I now know that if you’re motivated to make a difference, I’m motivated to help you, but I’m not motivated to be the labor for your effort.  The Lead Change Group is not the labor for your effort either.  You’re the labor for your effort.

Lead Change Group is a gathering place. Some come here to find ideas.  Others come with their idea in some stage of development.  Can you get help here? Certainly! Members do business with each other, collaborate on projects and purchase services from one another all the time.

But it starts by being about something.  Whether you’re here with an idea or you’re looking for one, you must act.  No one will do it for you.  Choose an idea and join.  Try something.  Doing nothing is failure if you do nothing long enough.  Choose to screw up in gear.  Make your mistakes by doing something.

Heretics

No one needs a leader to lead same.  This is a community of heretics, leading change; and changing leadership.  We believe we each individually can inspire character-based leadership and make a positive difference in ourselves, in others, and in our communities. Character-based leadership is each of us leading from who we are and not our power or position.

So, if your “thing” is changing the leadership world, join us! If your competition is bad leadership, then by all means, share your ideas and invite people to join you as you make a difference in the world.  Please.  Like one of Seth Godin’s other books, Tribes says, we need you to lead us.  We need you to stand up and stand out and make a difference… because you can.

Tribes by Seth Godin on Amazon.comShare your ideas about the ways that you think the world needs to be changed in the context of character-based leadership.   You can write for Lead Change, or share your blog posts in our Activity Stream, or in our LinkedIn group or our Facebook page.

Your difference, your impact, will be what you make it.  Let others compromise and settle.  Like another of Godin’s famous quotes, “In a battle between two ideas, the idea that wins is the one with the most fearless heretic behind it.”  Will your idea win?  Are you a fearless heretic?

Photo © Andrey Bandurenko – Fotolia.com

About The Author

Articles By mike-henry
Chief Instigator (Founder) of Lead Change Group and VP of IT for a mid sized technology company. Passionate about character-based leadership and making a positive difference.  »  View Profile

What People Are Saying

Jon Mertz  |  23 Apr 2012  |  Reply

Great call to action, Mike! It does start with: “But it starts by being about something.” We need to figure out who we are, how we want to lead, and then act consistently. Thanks! Jon

Mike Henry  |  23 Apr 2012  |  Reply

I agree Jon. But for me, many times I figure out a bit more about me by seeing how I act. I’m constantly fighting the urge to wait to fugure out who I am or how I want to lead. And sometimes, there’s little or no time for that.

I began by being about “good leadership.” But that’s moved to being about character-based leadership, which we’ve defined as coming from who we are as individuals, but also being peer-based and others-focused as we’ve discussed in some of the recent strategy calls. The moment I was about “good leadership” I began acting and refining. Often, for me at least, the nuances and the real “who I am” lie after some trial and error.

Thanks for the comment. Mike…

John Mushriqui  |  24 Apr 2012  |  Reply

Mike,

I agree with your call for making a difference and impact and that is the reason I believe I exist. In other words let me state it differently. Should I be just another human being or leader, I would lose my passion or reason for existence. The question is how to make an impact and create a legacy that would impact the lives of others around you positively. On our blog we are in the midst of a series of the most important leadership characteristics, which would enable you to make such a difference hence creating legacy, and we would love to get feedback from a wide range of leaders. The odd thing is as you stated above the more I right the more I discover about myself, what I lack, and what I have. I am personally set out to make a difference in the marketplace globally, through set out characteristics, business practices, and methodologies that would change the market place as we know it . This change can be applied through leadership, strategy, operation, organizational development , and etc.; but for this change to truly make a difference leadership has to be transformed. It is a challenge but it is a challenge worth living for. Standing out for a purpose is what gives you the substance to stand on.

Mike Henry  |  24 Apr 2012  |  Reply

John, thanks for the great comment. Writing helped me clarify things about my passion and my purpose. We’re all about the transformation of leadership here too so let me encourage you to finish out your profile. You can link your blog to your profile here to help promote your series and you can also add your social media profiles too. Check out the My Profile / Edit / Settings. We also have discussions going on LinkedIn (http://bit.ly/LeadChange) and Facebook (http://facebook.com/leadchangegroup) and our own Q & A page on the main menu here.

Thanks for reading and joining the conversation. Mike…

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