Few Expected Him to Disrupt

I can’t imagine that many believed he would do anything significant when he was born in the worst part of town.  We don’t expect that of disruptive leaders.  Instead we expect that they arrive with some sense of pride and promise.


He Did Not Fit In

As he grew, others noticed that he was a rather odd child, not doing things exactly the way others did them.  Normally we forecast great leaders based on their ability to fit in to the crowd and then to emerge and lead that crowd.  He didn’t do that.  Maybe that is why so many were surprised when he did lead.

He Seemed So Common

It took him get noticed.  He didn’t seem to distinguish himself as a man of destiny for many years.  He worked with his hands as a common builder.  Many thought that to do what others thought impossible required a better education or social standing.  Maybe that is why they were surprised.

He finally found his niche when he turned 30.  Don’t we tend to think disruptive leaders are doing things at an earlier age? After all, didn’t Bach, Beethoven, daVinci, Einstein, Gandhi and even Steve Jobs show promise before 30?  No wonder many doubted the significance he could make.

He Didn’t Build the Best Team

Once he did make his move, he didn’t choose the best followers.  Most would question this rag tag group of misfits he assembled as his executive team.  How could he ever do anything significant without attracting a better team?  No wonder many dismissed him quickly.

He Caused Trouble

He definitely didn’t seem to be very adept with public relations.  Many considered him more destructive than disruptive as he foolishly challenged established leaders, broke laws and violated beloved traditions.  Sometimes he pointed out the mistakes of powerful leaders and even went so far as physically busting up their places of business.  No wonder they hated him.  No wonder they used their power to get rid of him.  No wonder his project only lasted three years.

His Ideas Seemed Impractical

His ideas were nice but seemed so impractical.  How could he turn the world upside down by arguing ethics, protecting the poor or by talking about self-sacrifice?  How could he expect to make a difference by addressing such controversial issues?

He Even Alienated His Followers

But what is most puzzling is his customer service.  He seemed to attract quite a few followers that were raving fans.  They followed him everywhere and loved him dearly.  They hung on every word he uttered. But then he said things to alienate many of them.  He made outrageous claims that they couldn’t tolerate.  He seemed to demand too much.    His closest friends even failed him toward the end, one of them denying even knowing him.  Surely a disruptive leader would do more to embrace his followers and build a stronger customer base.

He Seemed to Dismiss His Opportunity

But maybe what is most puzzling of all was that he refused to defend himself to trumped up charges.  Why wouldn’t he speak up?  Isn’t that rather stupid?

He Violated Expectations but Ultimately Disrupted

In the end, he didn’t seem to follow a wise pattern for leading disruptive change.  No wonder few envisioned what he would ultimately do.  He seemed to make so many critical mistakes.   Maybe that is why community leaders used their political powers to arrest him on trumped up charges and orchestrate his execution.

This is the time of year where we celebrate the birth of a very common child that would violate so many expectations to ultimately disrupt the world.  So few could see it coming but yet he did what they did not think possible.

The Christmas Story is one filled with hope for a radically different world and made possible by the birth of a savior.  Who would have thought it would happen that way?   Maybe today is a great day to reconsider the potential you have for disruption.  Maybe today is the time to reconsider the story you are telling yourself. Maybe today is the day to tell a different story filled with hope.  Maybe it is time for you to disrupt.

Here are 9 lessons we can learn from this compelling story.

Lesson 1:  No matter how humble our beginnings, we each have the potential to disrupt the world.

Lesson 2:  We can ultimately disrupt even if we didn’t initially fit in.  Actually, that may make it easier.

Lesson 3:  Each one of us has potential to disrupt, despite how common we appear.

Lesson 4: Disrupting is often done by serving those overlooked by current leaders.

Lesson 5:  Sometimes we have to cause a little trouble to disrupt the status quo.

Lesson 6:  Our disruptive ideas may seem impractical to the status quo but ring true with our target market.

Lesson 7:  Many will follow until they fully grasp the commitment required.

Lesson 8:  We will be judged harshly, often until long after the disruption.

Lesson 9: Our legacy can change the world even if they think they killed us.

3D PWR Tip: Disrupting often begins by believing you can do what so few see as possible.

(C) 2015 Murfield International, Inc.

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Dr. Loren Murfield works with aspiring and emerging leaders to disrupt the market. Are you wondering how you can leverage your power to make your mark?   Contact Dr. Murfield today.9 Critical Components

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