I recently listened to Seth Godin’s Tribes on audio book. It is… amazing! I’m going to listen again, and again, and probably again. I think that you should too.
What sits with me after having listened this first time are his ideas about how we, as leaders, should take action. Most people, he says, react. Some people respond. Others, a smaller few, initiate.
The difference between them is stark, particularly with regard to our intent and the outcomes we can achieve.
This is what I took away.
To react is to allow something to happen and then act without proper thought or consideration of what can or should be achieved, and done defensively and out of fear.
To respond is to allow something to happen and then act with consideration of the environment and what one hopes to achieve, and is done in self-interest.
To initiate however, trumps both, because it’s about taking action to make something happen, rather than allowing something to happen and then taking action, and is done out of generosity.
The difference between initiating and responding is the difference between a leader and all the others.
All the others respond to things that happen to them. Leaders do things that others respond to.
Which will you be? A leader? Or, just one of the others?