Stand Out

by  Mike Henry  |  Self Leadership

I read a paragraph the other day that reminded me of why I started the Lead Change Group.

Fit in too much, though, and nothing much happens. Where are the self-appointed agitators and firebrands, the people who will egg you on and push you to stand out for something?  Seth Godin Linchpin page 202.

This group was created before it was fashionable to egg people on and push them to stand out for something.  No, I didn’t start the idea.  In fact, no one in this group created the idea.  Over the years, many have encouraged standing up and standing out for essential beliefs.  Most great leaders started by standing against injustice or standing for an idea.  And today, you can find great posts on that topic all over the Internet, including from friends who are Instigators here.  Even the title, Instigator, comes from our desire to instigate a leadership revolution.

As for me, I don’t want to be lukewarm.  I don’t want to “go down easy.”  I want to make a difference in the world and I believe my difference is to help you make your difference in the world, at least in the area of character-based leadership.

In Linchpin, Godin suggests that the world and the “system” or the “factory” train us to surrender our ability to make a difference.  We’re taught to fit in, go along, and be cool.  We get pressured into conforming to the system and we surrender long before we even knew what we were doing.

But we don’t have to stay surrendered.

Don’t give away control over your ability to make a difference.  Your circumstances, friends, income, or challenges can limit or direct the difference you make.  Don’t surrender to anyone or anything by granting authority over your ability to make a difference.

So what’s your thing?  Are you doing it?  Have you told anyone?  How could you do your thing more?  Can we help?  Share your ideas below on how readers of this blog can make a difference in their sphere of influence this week.  Every little bit helps.

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

John-Anthony  |  16 Apr 2012  |  Reply

Thanks so much for the post. I believe everything learnt here would build my character to become a better leader.

Mike Henry  |  16 Apr 2012  |  Reply

Thanks back John! Hopefully that’s the case with most of the posts on this site! Mike…

Jon Mertz  |  16 Apr 2012  |  Reply


Great posts, great group. I am glad to have found out about LeadChange and now play a small part in it. Thank you for being the chief instigator!

You are right. It is so important to stand out and take action. Although I try to in my workplace, my goal is still to do more.



Mike Henry  |  17 Apr 2012  |  Reply

Thanks for the comment and for being part of the group Jon. Sometimes I think the best thing we can do is egg each other on “still to do more.” Mike…

Mark Silet  |  27 Apr 2012  |  Reply

The “system” or the “factory” may very well have trained the masses not to rock the boat and to work to fit in. You can’t stand out and lead without individual risk – as soon as you take a stand you are going to upset a group of people.

We definately need more people to be willing to be risk takers and starting leading by taking a stand!

Mike Henry  |  28 Apr 2012  |  Reply

Mark, thanks for the great comment. We do seem to be a risk-averse society. The less risk we tolerate or embrace, the less we attempt great things. You certainly got me thinking. Thanks! Mike…

Join The Conversation