The following text is an extract from More Than This: Your Heroic Quest to Find Inspiration, Intent, Impact and Insight
I want to teach you what I’ve learned about kick-starting your life. I want to give you the tools you’ll need to build and sustain massive momentum. And I want to help you create and achieve the kind of impact that you’ve always dreamed you’d make – irrespective of whether you’re the executive assistant or the chief executive.
I’ve noticed that most people constrain what they are capable of based on what they see happening around them. Most people are resigned. They are resigned to the fact that politicians are corrupt and aren’t trying to fix the problems occurring in the country. They are resigned to the fact that climate change is inevitable and cannot be influenced by human effort. They are resigned to the fact that some people are just bad, and will do bad things no matter what happens. They are resigned to the fact that some people have to sweep the streets and empty the rubbish bins and mop the floors. They are resigned to the fact that there are so many problems in the world that there’s no point trying to do anything about it.
When did you give up on your dreams? And what brought it about? And more importantly, how do you feel about it now? Are you relieved? Does it remove the pressure? Or is there just a little bit of you that resents the fact that you’ve ‘settled’ for less?
We talk about people leading their lives, but we dismiss what leadership means in this context. It’s almost like ‘leading a life’ is some lesser form of leadership – or not leadership at all.
I want you to change that thinking right now. You are the chief executive of you. Nobody else can hold that role. And you shouldn’t let anybody else hold that role.Leadership is not a job. It’s something everybody does every day. The question is not whether you lead – but why, how and for what purpose?Click To Tweet
We live in interesting times. A quick scan of the world headlines and it’s plain to see that chasms are opening up within society that seem unfathomably deep and unbridgeable…
Previously impenetrable boundaries are being crossed with ease…
Simple slogans are winning out over facts with alarming regularity…
Leadership matters in many ways. It matters for the ability to see a better future, and to share that vision with people. It matters for the ability to nurture and grow others. It matters for the ability to foster innovation and growth. It matters for the ability to inspire others to be the best versions of themselves.
But leadership matters most when it overcomes the temptation to reduce complicated things to catchy slogans, and when it enables people to understand and engage with wicked problems in new and creative ways.When I look at the world we live in, it is clear to me that people exactly like you need to step up and lead.Click To Tweet
Now I don’t (just) mean positional leadership – like managers and CEOs. I mean leaders in the broadest sense – leaders of movements, leaders of people, leaders of ideas, leaders of change, leaders of impactful lives.
There are a multitude of problems crying out for solutions: from climate change, to famine, to civil war, to inequality, to human rights abuses, to corruption, to nuclear arms proliferation, to drought, to child abuse…
If you have ever looked at these problems – or problems like them – and thought “I wish I could do something about that”, then this book is for you. This book will help you find the inspiration to reach out and tackle that big (or modest or small) problem you care about. Then it will help you turn that inspiration into actual intent.
A decision to do something.
Then it will give you the tools and skills to impact change in the world. Not just because you can, but because you must. You, your family, your friends and the world, need you to.
Great leaders revel in the challenge of reconciling two apparently irreconcilable ideas, because they know that is where the creativity happens.
Great leaders embrace the grey areas between polar opposites, because they know life is seldom black and white.
Great leaders explore the murky complexities of important issues, because they know the devil can be in the detail.
Great leaders critically examine slogans and by-lines to see whether they pass the sniff-test, because they know that salespitches leave out the most important features in a bid to appeal to our emotions.
Great leaders recognise that by simplifying things to their barest essentials, we lose the essence of what made them important in the first place.
Leadership matters because sometimes long-held conventions are no longer sufficient to protect our institutions and systems from tearing themselves apart.
Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying complexity is good and simplicity is bad – I’m saying it’s never that simple.
I fundamentally believe that all people have the potential within them to achieve greatness. There are plenty of things in the world to worry about – and some of them you can do something about. Actually many of them.
But only if you’re prepared to not do something else.
For the rest, have hope and optimism in your fellow human beings, and get on with making the very best of the cards you have been dealt. Within that hand lies the power to make a real difference – to your life, to the lives of your family and friends, and to the lives of millions of people all around the world.
Let’s get inspired, set our intention, and impact the world for the better!