Leaders take charge
Leaders create opportunity and freedom and action. They're almost always rebels.
Leaders don’t wait for permission. They don’t wait for budgets and committee approval. They don’t always wait for the stars to align… although that helps.
Leaders create opportunity and freedom and action.
Leaders see problems, and start doing something.
I’ll be frank. I think leadership terrifies some people. It’s not safe. It doesn’t always come with a parachute or a safety net. And almost every time, you’re breaking new ground. You’re heading out into a frontier that may or may not be friendly to you.
But that’s the thing about leaders. They enjoy challenges. They enjoy a little chaos. Because it calls up something deep and beautiful and exciting within us.
Leaders are almost always rebels.
Now, there are some people who just rebel. They head out into new wildlands on their own, and don’t care if others follow.
There are others who want and need to be seen for their efforts. They want the recognition, praise, and paycheck.
There are some who fixate on a goal and sacrifice everything in their lives for that goal - friends, health, creativity, meaning.
You won’t find these kinds of leaders in this book.
You will find leaders with a dream.
But a leader without a family, or a following, or friends, is not a leader. They’re just a rebel.
A leader who’s in it for their own ego is a bad leader.
And someone prepared to burn all bridges for the sake of the mission doesn’t win friends and influence people.
Every leader needs to be a rebel in some way, able to step outside a system, to look at the fringes of things, and to dream a new dream about what’s possible. And then, most importantly, knows how to share that dream, and empower others to move with them.
Rebel leaders don’t care how much time it takes. It’s not about time. Those who care about short-term wins can never be present for the journeys of others.
Rebel leaders don’t work top down. We get down in the trenches with others. We lead from the front, not from the C Suite. And we aren’t afraid to be tested and challenged.
And the first thing that tests and challenges us is finding a way to start. Starting without a budget, or authority.
‘Rebel Dreams’ is my manifesto. My story. My process for simply showing up, writing down a plan of action as clear as I can, and sharing it. I discovered it when I got tired of trying to save my world alone. One day it became clear that my problem is shared by tons of other people.
Instead of trying to fix it for myself, I started looking for everyone else who had the same problem. Let’s fix it together.
Showing up, taking action, and giving others a voice, creates authority. Authority is different from being in charge. Anyone can be in charge.
But your buddy working at your side could be a more compelling authority.
Real authority is earned, not given. And it’s earned because someone stands up and takes action. That’s how we create credibility for ourselves, in a landscape where everyone seems to be toeing lines, frustrated at factory lines, wishing they could even get a chance to see if the grass is greener on the other side.
When you stand up, you could be starting a small get-together for people. Perhaps a brand new business. Maybe an app, or simply a social media page. It doesn’t matter. It’s about the mission.
You don’t need a budget to take action. You may need energy, and time.
If you have that, there’s nothing to stop you.
You actually don’t even need time. I never have time. Or at least not enough.
Sometimes I have energy. There have been times where I didn’t.
This process still works.
Money is not the only measure of success. And it is not the only thing that makes things move.
Money validates meaning. It validates that a thing we can buy has meaning for us. Money is proof of trust, of belief, of a chance for change.
Leaders don’t start with money. We start with meaning. With listening, taking action, giving voices to people. And when that’s successful, the money comes. Not always as we expect.
If you’re religious, or faith-inspired, like I am, then you’ll see a call to mission here before a call to finance, because we believe that forces beyond our present moment are looking for inlets into our world. Spiritual powers waiting for us to collaborate with them, to bring order and goodness and thriving into human living.
We don’t sit back and wait for them. They are waiting for us. Your future audience of friends and followers are waiting for someone. Your future clients are waiting for someone.
Nothing happens unless we start.
True leaders learn by moving and doing, long enough to show that they’re not in it for ego. Or money. Or success. They’re really truly in it for something bigger than themselves.
And that’s when followers appear. Because they trust that this kind of leader won’t throw them under the bus, but believes in binding wounds, empowering freedom, and inspiring action in others.
This kind of leader doesn’t need authority, or a budget, to be believable.
We just need to start.