Talk about a hefty title. Now I mean what I say, but let me give you some context. (After all, in development work, context is everything).
In one of my classes we’re supposed to read this book called Tribes by Seth Godin. Now Tribes is about leading. It’s about how to be a leader of your own tribe, why we are all inherently a part of a tribe, one way of another, and why it’s important to be a leader.
Godin describes tribes as 1) a group of people 2) who have shared interests and 3) have a way to communicate. So effectively, we’re all in a tribe. Unless you hate people, everything and shut yourself off from the world.
I know I don’t and I’m not. So I guess I’m a part of a tribe.
And while some people say that I make a decent leader, I never particularly thought so. After reading this book, I think I know why.
There was something in the book that made me think about my own leadership skills because I never quite feel like my leading is adequate. Especially now in university. When I was younger, I could charm any soul alive. I was a social chameleon and I was everyone’s friend. But as I got older, that changed. I became less confident. Shy. I stutter when I read, I get nervous and I babble. I used to be easy going and smooth, but now I can’t handle that. I don’t like talking to people. I’m self conscious about what I’m saying and how I say it.
Sure, that might be a norm for people as they grow up in general, but why is that?
I don’t think it’s because I lack confidence. You get to know me, I am very confident in who I am and what I believe in. I know exactly what it is that I want to do with my life. I may not know how that’s going to happen but it doesn’t matter much because I’ll never stop trying.
What I do think I lack is faith. Not the kind of faith as in what I believe in, like God. But the kind of faith that Godin describes in his book that a leader needs. It’s the kind of faith in knowing that it’ll work, even if it’s crazy. I’m not an outside the box type of thinker. I like to play it safe most of the time. Godin says you need to develop the faith that it’ll work or you won’t innovate. I play too closely by the rules and I don’t challenge them, especially when I’m a leader. Because that kind of irresponsibility is reckless. It’s thoughtless. But it’s necessary. It’s necessary because the people with that kind of faith don’t just do a good job, they exceed expectations and they inspire. That’s what a leader needs to do. They need to be able to challenge the status quo with a fearless resolve.
Godin writes in his book, “When you fall in love with the system, you lose the ability to grow”.
Your rules and system, religion, are meant to enhance faith demonstrated by your actions, but when you only follow the rules, religion without faith is meaningless.
So I want to develop that kind of faith. The kind of faith that challenges the system, that breaks down the rules of religion when religion is the only thing standing. I want to challenge the status quo and the systems that the world has in place now, the systems that disadvantage one person for the advantage of another. I want to break the system that I’m so tired of seeing hurt people. I want to be a heretic to the religions that hold us back from growing.
I know that I am capable. I have a heart to go out and do more than just wait for someone to take charge. Somewhere, I have the faith to take leaps and trust in them. And I’m going to make sure that we are never comfortable with the status quo.
I am not a follower. I am a leader. And I am a heretic.
What kind of a leader are you and what tribes are you a part of? Leave a comment below.