Thursday, April 10, 2008

We can change the world

The world is going to change. This is a certainty. And it will change in an unsentimental fashion with no concern for your deeply help beliefs or assumptions.

Sitting astride history and shouting "stop" is simply childish. You have only two real options: 1) Let the change happen as it happens. Guided by randomness and/or the vision of others. 2) Lead and inspire the change in accordance with your vision.

Is your vision any good? I have no idea. You might not either. But get it out there and let the world decide.

We can change the world. With a vision of beauty, purpose and nobility and the passion to never give up.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

How to inspire

I was at an innovation conference today and had a chance to attend a lunch hosted by Dan Pink. A question came up about how companies and their leaders can inspire their customers and employees.

There was an answer given (with less than perfect confidence) but I found it, well, uninspired and thus, forgot it.

Here's my answer: be yourself. First you'll need to strip away the years (likely decades) of other people and institutions confusing you about who and what you are. Your parents, other family members, friends, celebrities... all have spent a lot of time trying to sell you an image of who and what you need to be. It is all wrong. You need to be you. And the world needs you to be you as well. As you peel away the harmful effects of the socialization process make sure to distinguish between influences designed to civilize you so that you can live amongst others and influences designed to rob you and the world of your uniqueness (or mojo). This isn't about a return to nature red in tooth and claw. It's about finding the melody of your soul and how it can be harmonized with the worlds in which you live.

Once you can peel away some of the accumulated detritus of an acculturation process that prizes conformity, you can look for the real you. What are you good at? What do you really enjoy? What makes your heart sing? And how can you make other people's hearts sing? What is it that makes you you?

If you can figure this out and act on it, you will inspire others. You will inspire them because they all yearn to be free of the crushing soul-destroying burden of conformity. You will inspire them because they all want more authenticity in their lives. You will inspire them because a person true to him or herself is far more productive than one who expends mental energy carrying and battling a persona that is alien to their true nature.

I should point out that I think this is all totally consistent with Dan Pink's thinking. Go read his new book "The Adventures of Johnny Bunko."