This is the third part of a series on the origins of the Lead Change Group based on one of the key books that inspired me to take action: Tribes by Seth Godin. For links to all the posts, check out this page.
When I went into business on my own as a consultant in the early months of 2009, I knew I wanted my business and effort to be about leadership. But I picked up the book Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us by Seth Godin to also learn some about marketing. It intrigued me to know that someone would write about marketing and leadership together.
On page 12 I came across Godin’s list of big ideas titled Why Should You Lead? And Why Now? He lists his thesis in 5 points and summarizes:
I want to help you realize that you already have all the skills you need to make huge difference, and I want to sell you on doing it. [Y]ou don’t need to wait until you’ve got exactly the right job or built the right organization… You can start right now.”
I already believed this. I had just never read it before. We don’t need permission to take responsibility for our environment and make it better. We don’t need permission to help people. We don’t need to be promoted. We don’t need any “them” to make room for us to lead. We simply need to act. The decision would be the key. Integrity and persistence would be needed, but only after an action. Everything begins with a thought, a commitment to no longer be a spectator. I want to have a bias toward action and correct on the way.
This also lined up with a favorite quote of mine, called the Man in the Arena quote by President Theodore Roosevelt.
“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”
With only one life and one shot at self-employment and self-discovery, I didn’t want to be a cold, timid soul. I’ll take the consequences of an action over the consequences of inaction any day.
What about you? Have you drawn your line in the sand? Is there an action you know you need to take? Maybe you need to commit to something. It could be the Lead Change Group, or a non-profit in your region. Maybe you just need to finish something. What is it? Comment below and let us know about your story, your commitment and your progress spending yourself in a worthy cause. Feel free to ask for help too. You can connect with Lead Change members on LinkedIn, Facebook or right here.
Like Seth Godin said, you can start right now.
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