Opinions may count, but only convictions can make you count. Do not mistake opinions for convictions. Nothing is as common in our social media-driven culture, as human opinions. Today, more than at any other time in the history of man, the media to disseminate vast arrays of divergent human opinions are at the fingertips of virtually everyone. But is that all it takes to be a leader? Sharing opinions?
The travesty of this reality is that, for the first time, even people who don’t have a message, as well as people with the wrong messages have been given the potent technological mediums to spread their “no message” or their wrong messages to the masses. The global resurgence of terrorism, religious extremism and fake news is a viable testimony to the fact that the media isn’t a respecter of the message and vice versa.
If opinions are abundantly available, possessing an abundance of them doesn’t guarantee leadership. What then does it take to lead in an age of proliferation opinions? The answer is CONVICTIONS. If all you have are opinions, you are not different from the common person on the street clamouring for attention. Opinions devoid of convictions will not amount to leadership in our world.
Finding Your Voice Versus Voicing Your Heart
You often hear so much today about telling our generation to find their voice. By that, they presume that just by speaking up on issues alone, we would get things to change in our world. There is so much to say about activism, be it online, on the streets or via policy advocacy. This is okay provided that what is being done is ACTIVEism and not VOICEism. The emphasis is on taking action rather than just voicing mere words. As all social agitators will tell you, it takes more than a loud voice to make a large impact. The gap between demonstration, agitation and reformation is a huge one and the fact that you can criticize a system doesn’t mean that you can create a better one, if given the opportunity. The Arab Spring and its failures are a glaring reminder of the dangers of not following up planned agitation, with a corresponding plan for development.As all social agitators will tell you, it takes more than a loud voice to make a large impact. Click To Tweet
The Professional Motivators
Sad to see is the rising crop of so-called motivational speakers and thinkers whose life’s work is to motivate people by their speeches to accomplish what they haven’t been able to accomplish in their private practice. They are at best forgers of lies and physicians of no value who have lured many into the graves of underachievement. Authentic motivation flows from what you have done and not from what you are telling me to do.Applying the truths discovered to the crucible of our day to day life and seeing it work is what converts them to convictions, without which one can not lead. Click To Tweet
From Opinion Leaders to Conviction Leaders
OPINION ARE CHEAP. What it takes to be a leader is SOUND CONVICTIONS. Don’t tell me what you think or feel. Don’t even tell me what you know. Tell me what you have proven. All it takes to have an opinion is to think it, but what it takes to have convictions is prove it. This process of proving what they think they know is what my generation lacks.
I am convinced that many ideas being shared in my generation are quack and half baked because my generation lacks the patience it takes to prove their concepts before presenting it. It is like having the right ingredients for a meal but not waiting for it to be properly cooked, before the presentation.
In the absence of this proving process for our perspectives and ideas, all we can offer our generation are quack opinions that can’t get our societies anywhere. What does it take to convert mere opinions to convictions? That I will address in another write-up but suffice it to say for now that generating convictions will require APPLICATION.
Applying the truths discovered to the crucible of our day to day life and seeing it work is what converts them to convictions, without which one can not lead. One ancient writer admonishes us to prove all things and hold fast that which is good. This suggests that everything on earth can be subject to empirical proof if we are patient enough to do so. The convictions that flow from this process is what makes leaders. In our next session, we will expatiate further. Without It (convictions), you can never lead.
Feel free to join me for the Leadership and Lifestyle Conclave every Sunday by 7:30 am at NECA House, Plot A2, Hakeem Balogun Street, Central Business District, Alausa Ikeja.