Do you ever wonder if you’ve done all you could? As I grow older, I question the impact I made with the resources at my disposal. I’ve had 55 years. I’ve had quite a bit of money and time, friends, opportunities.
In Tribes, Godin titled a section The Obligation:
Not too far from us, a few blocks away, there are kids without enough to eat and without parents who care. A little farther away, hours by plane, are people unable to reach their goals because they live in a community that just doesn’t have the infrastructure to support them. A bit farther away are people being brutally persecuted by their governments. And the world if filled with people who can’t go to high school, never mind college, and wh certainly can’t spend their time focused on whether or not they get a good parking space at work.
And so the obligation: don’t settle.
To have all these advantages, all this momentum, all these opportunities and then settle for mediocre and then defend the status quo and then worry about corporate politics – what a waste.
Flynn Berry wrote that you should never use the word “opportunity.” It’s not an opportunity, it’s an obligation.
I don’t think we have any choice. I think we have an obligation to change the rules, to raise the bar, to play a different game and to play it better than anyone has any right to believe is possible.
I was confronted with what I could do and I did something. Right or wrong, done well or not-so-well, when it came time to act, Lead Change was created. People connected, collaborated, made a positive difference and continue to do so. I’ve met hundreds of great people from all over the world. Most were changing their world before and many would have regardless of our connection.
But because I chose to act, I became a small part of the change that was already taking place. Just being aware is an important role. In the last 4 years since I clicked the button to create the group on LinkedIn, I’ve been overwhelmed by the goodness of people and their passion to make a difference. I’ve been energized and mobilized, overwhelmed and amazed by the excitement of seeing people do what they can to change their world. My awareness of the good going on in the world has multiplied.
If you’re trying to change your world, thank you. I’m grateful for everyone who acts. I’m glad to be a co-revolutionary. Join the revolution, not the group. Connect with 2 other people and talk about how you can make your corner of the world better. Make a plan and then act. You don’t need me or this group, but we’d all be happy to help if we can.
And if you’re complaining about your world rather than changing it, now you have no excuse.
We must each resist, even hate, that spirit in and around us that Godin and Steven Pressfield call the Resistance. Every action, no matter how small, spits in the face of mediocrity and the Resistance. It all counts. Every action matters.
Sometimes courage is simply being angry enough to choose any alternative but the default. Refuse to tolerate mediocrity. This isn’t an opportunity. It’s an obligation. How much mediocrity will you tolerate?
This is the final installment in The Origins of the Lead Change Group based on the book Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us by Seth Godin. To read the entire series or see the table of contents, check out this page.