As a social entrepreneur – a leader that works to make positive changes in your community and in society as a whole – there’s one thing that you need to know and understand:
Success has lots of parents, but failure is an orphan.
When things are successful, you need to make sure the whole team…the whole group… all the people involved get credit for the part they played. That’s what real leaders do – they acknowledge the efforts of everyone involved. They don’t take all the credit when a goal is reached.
But you must also keep in mind that when there are mistakes and failures (or perceived failures) and you mess up (which will happen from time to time), or you make choices that seem “crazy” to some people, you must have the strength to be able to stand alone, because you’re going to be there by yourself taking all the heat.
Taking the heat comes with the territory of being a social entrepreneur, and you need to be okay with that.
If you’re not okay with that, then you’re in the wrong line of work.
If you are okay with it, then you need to prepare yourself for it.
Prepare Yourself For The Heatwave
So how do you do it? How do you build up the strength to stand tall in the face of opposition, ridicule, or failure?
One way that works very well is to start journaling, and always refer back to your journal as positive reinforcement.
I know, you hear that a lot, right? Experts are always recommending it, and it has become a very popular thing to do…
But that’s because it works!
And in these days and times journaling can be as simple as speaking into your cell phone on a recording app, or, of course, you can do it the old fashion way of taking paper and pencil and writing it down.
Here’s what I suggest you do to start…
- Write down or record your goals
- Write down or record your blessings – the things that you are grateful for
- Write down or record your values
The point is that when you take your thoughts out of your head and put them somewhere and hear them back or see them back, you begin to fuel yourself with the courage you need to withstand anything anyone throws at you.
When you keep your goals, blessings, and values top of mind, you will not allow anyone to bring you down, or stop you from picking yourself back up and moving forward. This also works for helping you to be brave enough to use the power you have.
Own Your Personal Power
Some social entrepreneurs will often say that they have to do something a certain way, because that’s the way it’s always been done. I hear the phrase, “I have to” or “I’m supposed to” all the time, but what I want you to understand is that you don’t “have to” do anything that you don’t want to do.
Just because a certain thing has always been done a certain way doesn’t mean that that’s the best way to do it. Stop thinking that you don’t have a choice, because you most certainly do.
You’re a leader, so stop being scared to make your own choices!
As a leader, you have the power to drive change, and change will NOT happen if you surrender to fear. You need to share the solutions you’ve come up with that have been hiding in your brain for years, that you’ve been too scared to implement.
How long are you going to sit back and worry about what other people think?
When are you going to start being true to yourself?
I always tell leaders — especially young leaders — that they can choose. They have a choice in how they think and act; so stop being afraid to do what you feel you have to do.
It all comes down to this:
Are you going to do you and be a real leader that produces change, or are you going to continue to be a fake leader that swims in fear when things get tough?