One day a few years back I personally embarked on a journey. One which has been the undertone of my entire existence since.
It all started with a decision and a vision. The decision was to be a leader – and the vision was crafted by an elaborate purpose I personally refer to as the Why.
A few years later after having discovered TED talks – I stumbled upon a brilliant TED talk by Simon Sinek:
Now apparently I wasn’t alone as a couple million people also saw it and it is the second most popular TED talk of all time. And with good reason here ias Simon coins a concept that many leaders in this world have stumbled across naturally along the way.
“People don’t buy what you do – they buy why you do it.” – Simon Sinek
He explains this through a simple illustration of The Golden Circle a pattern followed by leaders Why – How – What as oppose to the traditional way of doing things which is the exact opposite. What Simon basically explains is that people don’t follow managers who manage – but people follow leaders who inspire. There is a huge difference between a leader and a manager and what separates the two is that money is the tool of managers – purpose is the tool of leaders and well let’s just say loyalty to a cause is not measured in dollars and cents.
What I began to learn more and more about the world around me is not just about how royally f*cked up we have made our world based on some facts and figures about the issues of “blue gold” or the onset of global warming but also about my responsibility within this all. Is it my fault that the waters of today are polluted with chemicals? That the air is unfit to breath or that we are eating poisonous foods? The answer is no.
But will it be my fault if I let that world continue for my future family, and all the generations beyond this point? Damn it…
So I took action – and turns out I was not alone. You see I has become WE for me – and as easy as it would be to revert to turning a blind eye to it all – I can’t. In fact I believe those armed with the facts and information and who do nothing about it are worse than those who are blissfully ignorant.
Valhalla is about removing that veil of ignorance but not about replacing it with a mask of fear and doom and gloom. It is about hope. We as humans biologically care. In fact we have this “gut” feeling that actually spawns in our limbic brain. We have chemicals that set off in our brain when we create long lasting bonds of trust and friendship. Chemicals that prepare us to enjoy the struggle and the fight and these are all things that became clearer to me while reading Simon’s books. You see Simon points out the real science behind leadership. Behind the concepts that I have been following for years – but what I know or do is not wizardry or magic – it is simply just me acting as me.
Look – I’m not paid to sell you his book – but I am called to promote it because I believe it can awaken something deep within you. The world needs more leaders. If we are to face the corruption and meet the challenge of the crisis – it is because we as leaders must also recruit other leaders. The 12th step of Alcoholics Anonymous is to help another addict and so such is my journey.
I am a leader – not because I say I am – but because my actions don’t make that statement a hypocrisy. What I also recognize is leading is an art. Not a profession or a fancy title. Not even something that is prestigious for the most part but is in fact bone crushingly painful in many moments. However I am called to it and there will be no screening of calls.
When a young leader emerges so does his ego. In fact I would say ego is an important and vital role for any leader to bring out when emerging as a leader – and the rest of his or her journey as a leader will be indirectly all about the challenge of controlling that ego and maintaining an objective stance to the obstacles within the path.
This being said I and my ego was humbled to speak to Simon recently and actually have him on our podcast. Click the image below to take a listen and hopefully it inspires you. Even leaders are loyal followers. We have much to learn by being quiet and observing. By staying humble and listening to others – or marching to the beat of another (wo)man’s instrument.
You see there is one thing I relearnt about leadership recently and that is to not “look” for followers but to just lead by example and so from now on I also vouch to eat last…