I was watching an awesome little lady do her thing. She left me teary-eyed, overjoyed and motivated. On Saturday 11th April 2009, forty-seven year old Susan Boyle stunned the judges and audience of Britain’s Got Talent show with a flawless rendition of Elaine Paige’s “I Dreamed A Dream”.
Susan vanquished the Nay-Sayers who thought she didn’t fit the mold of the other competitors. Most of them were younger, better looking, more energetic and full of promise. But weren’t they in for a surprise! She had everyone captivated from the first note her vocal cords crafted. She was a diamond the rough. Needless to say, she comfortably progressed to the next stage with an overwhelming majority vote.
For a long time, I had heard so many ‘nays’ shouted my way too. If the nays were bearer bonds, I most probably wouldn’t be writing this blog. I’d be a millionaire!
When I was 11 years old, my English teacher told me that I could not write anything original. He rubbed salt into my already crushed spirit by docking me a fail in my written composition paper. Today, I have defied his criticism and not only am I a communication specialist, I am also a published author.
When I was 9 years old, some of my family said I would not go far in my education. By God’s grace I made it, and not only made it, but was the first in my family to get a university degree. I chose to win and focus on the opportunities, not the impossibilities.
“Leaders live by choice, not by accident.” ~Mark Gorman
What did I learn from all this? That leadership is a risky proposition, but I have the choice to manage three risks: Failure, Rejection and Winning.
Risk of Failure… Leadership involves that I work with many variables, some of which I am not in control of. The impending feeling of defeat and loss can be overwhelming. However, focus on those you are able to lead. That is where the magic lies, as they may be instrumental in leading the ‘doubters’ towards your vision [TweetMe]. “Luck is NOT a factor, Hope is NOT a strategy, Fear is NOT an option.” ~James Cameron
Risk of Rejection… This is that lonely place where others place you just because they think you are odd or different. There is the cost of humiliation if your leadership style fails with one group of people. The thought that you will amount to nothing can freeze you in place. That is not the end of life. Learn from it and pivot those lessons to your favor at the next opportunity you get [TweetMe]. I have and it has worked. “Hardships prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” ~C.S. Lewis
Risk of Winning… I have the opportunity of concentrating on winning people’s hearts, nurture other leaders to the front line, and live out my full potential. This is one of the best of all risks, as it drives me to serve other people wholeheartedly. I like the spirit in these words by Bill Aulet, Managing Director of Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship. “Our goal is to take your spirit of a pirate and give you the execution skills of a Navy SEAL.” That’s what I want to be! A formidable force with a pirate’s free spirit and the discipline of a Navy seal [TweetMe]. With that spirit, I can only win. Even when I fail, I fall forwards.
QUESTION: Are you willing to risk it and become the best you were meant to be? Please share your ‘risky’ thoughts in the comments box below.