Everyday leadership – ‘to change the world, don’t aim to change the world’

It’s 00:45 and I’ve just left the office in solitude after a fairly challenging day. Fortunately, I drove today and before long I’m in the cockpit – a place I where I feel invincible and typically find comfort, safety and peace. Usually, after a long, tiresome day – I find no more desirable avenue for release than some motivating, hard-hitting bass with funky melody and vocal amalgamation turned-up on loud, complemented by a clear road and perfectly timed navigation through green lights. Today was different. Today I made one small change. And when I reflect on this one small change and the profound impact it has had on the conclusion of my day I can’t help but realise the parallels with the contents of Drew Dudley’s TED talk; which I dragged myself to stream from my phone and play over the car stereo Bluetooth, abandoning the default option.

It turns out today I was reminded that the smallest of actions or changes can have the most profound impact. If only we could motivate ourselves to celebrate and congratulate ourselves on the small changes, then perhaps we would focus more on those small changes, small steps, small decisions and those small changes or steps would exist in greater abundance and lead to big changes and affect the lives of tens, hundreds, millions, a continent, a universe. Perhaps….

So I briefly turn my attention to #leadership … the topic of Drew’s talk. Drew reflects on a throw-away moment in his life he cannot recollect, which led to the most far-reaching implication for the life of another and he almost looks back in regret that perhaps his finest of moments (in terms of impact for another) also represents his most negligible in terms of his own personal awareness and recognition.

This ties greatly to Drew’s argument that as a people we have become obsessed with placing leadership on a pedestal – a highly coveted yet somewhat unachievable feat reserved for the most epic and gifted of men and women. And so with the efficient souls that we have become, if you cannot attain, why extend your arm, try to reach and waste energy on something that’s best left to the more equipped individual.

The reality is leadership is being exercised around us every day  in such simple terms, and as Drew alludes to, in the words of Marianne Williamson we need get over our fear of how powerful we can be so we can move beyond it!

On that note I turn a closing thought to my own work at Movemeback and the source of my late departure and midnight roamings. One of the core tenants of our work is affecting talented individuals and young entrepreneurs of tomorrow, to take the platform we present to them, to take charge and one small step at a time to mobilise themselves to drive change social and economic change on the African continent. Today’s lessons serves to remind us that all too often we defer to the ‘better, more qualified individual’ to take charge and attain the unattainable. Let us reassess our relationship with leadership, let us celebrate our ‘everyday leadership’ and lets start today with the small which will lead to the big.

And what better way to sum this up but through quoting Drew’s own powerful statement

“As long as we make leadership something bigger than us, something beyond us, make it about changing the world, we give ourselves an excuse not to expect it from ourselves and from each other”

Oh and look its 02:25, and the one small act of change at 00:45 is already spiralling out of control. Check the history – my first blog post in years!

Enjoy the talk!