F*** It. I'll Do It Anyway.
I was so fortunate to be at Creative Mornings today at the Brooklyn Museum listening to a guy named Casey Gerald speak. He started an organization called MBAs Across America, but my guess is his legacy is going to be something far larger and more prounounced. See if you can hear him speak - in-person or online - and just absorb. He's the real deal. (Creative Mornings filmed today's talk and I'll post it here when it's up.)
In his talk, he covered his story, his passion, his purpose and mission, and the call to all of us for creating change in this humble world of ours through our own stories, purposes, passions, and missions. I shed several tears simply because he moved me with his story, honesty, and passion - and he was talking about most things I love and focus on around leadership, change, and purposeful organizations.
Two of several takeways are:
(1) F*** it. I'll do it anyway, and
(2) Love Ethic.
F*** it. I'll do it anyway.
When any of us have an idea or an inspiration for a project, a business, a product, or a creative endeavor, we'll often test the idea by talking out loud about it with friends, colleagues, teachers, parents, and partners. The problem with doing this is that all too frequently people LOVE to quash ideas. They'll talk about the risk, how the idea doesn't fit in to the current paradigm, or what the idea isn't. Fear meets fear in these encounters. Our own ideas make use nervous (due to the idea of change) and almost to validate our own fear we go out and solicit people to cut it down so we can alleviate our discomfort by not acting on our own ideas. Case closed. Bad idea. Too risky. Status quo. No change. Mental and spiritual health risks? Yes, plenty.
Sometimes though, our ideas have minds of their own and we can't shake them. These are usually our callings and purposes. Ideas that come through us rarely are accidental. So, even in the face of all the "experts" telling us the idea is risky, bad, or plain dumb, we are still moved to say "f*** it, i'm going to do it anyway."
F*** it, I'll do it anyway is the way forward, the way to change, the only way we'll disrupt and innovate, change, develop, and grow. As I tweeted this week from a Cindy Gallup speech "Fear of what other people think is the most paralysing thing... you will never own the future if you care what people think."
The echo of the industrial era is a notion that businesses aren't supposed to have heart and meaning. The reality is that few people today are comfortable surviving, let alone thriving in a business that is devoid of heart and meaning. The very reason we do work around vision, purpose, direction, leadership, culture, communication, and brand is to elevate heart and meaning, call if forward, leverage it, and use its energy as fuel to get shit done.
Casey referred to business purpose and executing with mindfulness and intention (heart and meaning) as a business having a "love ethic." I love it. Love ethic is also the way forward, the way toward good change, innovation and disruption, growth and development.
Visions frequently move us to action in the face of rejection because they come through from a place that isn't rational or for anyone outside of ourselves to judge. When our spirits call, "f*** it, i'll do it anyway" can and should be the answer. And, as I often talk about, businesses have heartbeats. Don't ever forget this. Denying the "love ethic" is denying heart and meaning which consequently is denying people.
So, keep these in your pocket the next time you are musing on your ideas. F*** it, i'll do it anyway is a good mantra for stepping over your fear. Love ethic will keep you all real.
Thank you @caseygerald and @NewYork_CM