Innovators defy convention.
They challenge assumptions.
They often defy best practices.
Are you audacious enough to be the innovative leader in your organization?
Murfield Coaching works with leaders and entrepreneurs in Real Estate, sales, and business leaders by thinking bigger and reaching higher to do what others considered “impossible.” One of the ways is by helping my clients examine their thoughts, language, and action. These words, often unspoken, become the language and action of their success or failure.
Audacious means being “extremely bold or daring; recklessly brave; fearless.”
It isn’t just singing in the shower, it is signing up for the audition. It’s so bold that others ask, “Are you sure you want to do that?”
Audacious is also defined (dictionary.com) as “lively; unrestrained; uninhibited.” Notice that last word, “uninhibited.”
That is critical in defying convention, going against best practices, and innovating new products and services.
Audacious challenges the assumptions.
Assumptions are what we automatically accept as true. We don’t even need to think about our assumptions. We just know it.
That’s what makes innovators so successful. They challenge what others haven’t bothered to rethink.
Because they are content. They see no need to go beyond ordinary. They are happy with the world as they know it.
Unfortunately, sometimes our assumptions are NOT true.
So we live our lives, run our businesses, and lead our teams based on lies we continue to tell ourselves.
If they are not lies, they are at least untruths.
Are you audacious enough to challenge what others automatically accept as true?
I recently read Adam Grant’s new book, “Think Again.”
It’s audacious because it challenged me to rethink several of my assumptions.
Some wouldn’t read the book for that very reason. They don’t want to challenge their assumptions.
But the innovator and disruptive leader does.
Because innovators think like scientists, not preachers, prosecutors or politicians, as Adam Grant writes.
The preachers cling to their sacred beliefs, delivering sermons to protect and promote their ideals. Prosecutors find the flaws in the reasoning of others and argue to prove them wrong. The politicians focus on winning over the room, securing the approval of their constituents.
Meanwhile, the scientists constantly search for evidence. They hold their values tightly but their opinions loosely. They are not afraid to change their mind or to defy convention when the evidence demands it.
Notice how the preachers and prosecutors rarely change their minds? Notice how they are hesitant to defy convention, believing positions to be sacred. No wonder they refuse to change their minds even when their is compelling evidence.
Then notice how the politicians cling to their ideas for a different reason. They only change their mind if their constituents change theirs. In other words, they are like windmills, pointing in whatever direction the wind blows.
That’s what popular people do. They go with the flow.
But what happens when the world around us changes?
What happens when innovations change our world so our assumptions are no longer correct?
Are we preaching points that are no longer valid? Are we prosecuting those who are now right? Are we still appealing to those that haven’t been willing to see the evidence?
Are you audacious enough to think like a scientist? Or are you content enough to still be the preacher, prosecutor, or politician?
Preacher or Prophet?
“Loren, you are a prophet. But remember, people killed the prophets.”
I was stunned when the young pastor admonished me that evening. He had paid us a visit on a different matter but paused to deliver that quick message. His intent, like many leaders, was for me to become a good team member. He saw our little study group as rebellious because we meet weekly instead of the church organized monthly meetings.
“Hmm,” I thought, “why would a pastor discourage members from doing more of the good things?” We weren’t rebellious, we simply wanted more than what the church was offering. But he didn’t see it like that. He saw this as bucking the system, defying convention. In his mind, we needed to fall under the authority of the church.
Please understand, he is a good person who was simply trying to do his job the right way. He actually thought he was helping us by shepherding our group back to the rest of the flock.
That’s what the “Boundary Bullies” do. (Bruce Wilkinson’s book, The Dream Giver details this point well.) The Boundary Bullies are those that care for us the most and, sensing we are about to make a big mistake, step in to save us. If we were simply striving for ordinary results, they would be extremely valuable. However, if we are innovators looking to do what others cannot imagine, Boundary Bullies are obstacles to our greatest opportunity.
Part of the reason I was stunned was the word he used. “Prophet.” No one had ever called me that. I had rarely even used it within my religious circles. So for him to claim I was a prophet took be off guard.
As I have processed this incident in the minutes, days, and decades since, I’ve come to understand the difference between a prophet and a pastor.
Preachers cling to what they know. They also seek to keep the peace among their flock. They don’t like disruptive behavior. Prophets, however, cling to their values while continually on watch for danger. They observe people, trends, and opportunities carefully. Like the scientists, they understand the causal “IF-THEN” statement. If we do __________, many good things will happen. If we don’t do ____________, we will suffer the consequences.
That’s how prophets foretell the future. They track the trends and forecast the opportunities as well as the consequences.
Prophets also shout out the warning to all who will listen.
No wonder pastor’s don’t want prophets around. Prophets threaten their political and prosecutor power with their flock.
When the flock is being led off a cliff because the pastor is looking backward instead of forward, the prophet is needed.
Imagine what happens if the prophet remains quiet because s/he is afraid to speak out.
To be a prophet requires audacity. You must be recklessly bold, uninhibited in examining the evidence and speaking the truth.
Are you audacious enough to be a prophet in your organization?
Be audacious. Think like a scientist. Do the research and then defy convention for the right reasons.
THINK BIGGER: Re-examine your assumptions. Don’t read to affirm what you know but rather willingly read to base your opinions on solid evidence.
REACH HIGHER!: Be the person who changes the world for the right reasons. Audacious isn’t just reckless but recklessly bold for the right reasons.
DO THE IMPOSSIBLE: Be willing to do what needs to be done but what others doubt can or will happen. Become the innovator and disruptive leader who creates a better world.
Loren Murfield, PhD
I work with leaders and entrepreneurs in small business, sales, and Real Estate to think bigger and reach higher to find their breakthrough success. Contact me to begin thinking bigger.
Check out my new venture, www.TotalCareerGrowth.com. Podcast, online courses in Real Estate, Sales, Leadership.
Stay tuned for the release of my autobiography.