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Maxims from Mike - Be Courageous Enough to Follow Your Convictions.

Hello Leaders,

Welcome to Today. Today's Leadership and Personal Development tip deals with Conviction.

Maxim: Be courageous enough to follow your convictions. You will garner more respect.

There is a debate whether or not Henry Ford said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” It is important to test the market to determine the needs. Pole your customers. Pole your constituents. Poll your congregations. Gather the data and do a gut check. This assumes you have strong convictions. If the data do not align with your gut rerun the data. The data said people wanted faster horses. Ford was convicted about providing a horseless buggy. He went with his gut.

Going with your gut and following your convictions will be unpopular at times. But natural leaders are wired differently. Others can learn how to trust their gut; their convictions; their intuition. John Maxwell states, "Leaders look at things differently than others. They evaluate everything according to their leadership bias. They possess leadership intuition that informs everything they do. It is an inseparable part of who they are." When the popular trend is to go down one path, a person with strong convictions will know if they should follow the popular path or pursue the road less traveled.

Steve Jobs pursued the road less traveled. Consider five products from Apple that helped transform several industries. The iPod revolutionized the music industry. The iTunes online music store sold over 1 million songs within a week of its launch. Apple offered multi-touch on its newly released iPhone. This allowed it to leapfrog its competitors such as BlackBerry, Nokia, Motorola, etc., (they still had keypads). Mac has a loyal following (iMac & MacBook) with over 60 million users across the globe. The iPad is a tablet done right.

What's the similarity with these products? Music players were already in the industry. There existed a way for customers to purchase music. Top mobile phone companies had many products in the market. Millions of PC's were already selling. And others had offered tablets before. While many thought Apple was pursuing fool's gold, Steve Jobs had the conviction to stay the course. He wanted a simpler music player and easy access for songs on it. He believed the best pointing device was the finger. So he pursued bringing products to market without a tactile keypad. The point is he was courageous enough to follow his convictions.

Martin Luther was a catalyst for transforming Christianity. He was convinced believers are saved by grace through faith and not by rituals or deeds. His convictions led to the Protestant reformation. Against all odds, a lonely outcast stood up to the world’s dominant superpower—the Catholic Church—and won. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. believed strongly in civil rights. He said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." He led many marches of non-violent protests. He was instrumental in helping move this country in a positive direction. Both men were courageous enough to follow their convictions.

While I may or may not agree with Mike Huckabee's politics, I respect his convictions. In his 2016 campaign for the presidency he stated, "We've lost our way morally." He was referring to the United States and how this country's moral compass is broken (my personal paraphrase). This statement was not politically correct but I believe his statement is true. We need more people who are willing to follow their convictions in business, in churches, in education, in politics, in the justice system, etc.

Following convictions are multi-pronged. I will address understanding and following your "why" in a subsequent blog. I am addressing only two prongs today.

  1. Listening to your intuition and not violating your gut feeling or inner sense and

  2. Standing up for what is right.

Be a difference maker. Learn to test the data on the outside against your intuition on the inside. Maybe a horseless carriage is the right solution. Be bold about speaking truth to power. The world does not need another "yes" man or lady. It needs people who are willing to be their authentic selves with a conviction to do what's right. The first point is about being able to read situations, people, and trends. That isn't always found in the data. The second point is about knowing what's right (your convictions) and doing it. It's about finding your voice and having the courage to use it. This will help you grow into a leader others will want to follow because they can trust you.

Are you ready for more success? It's yours. Go ahead and be you. Follow your convictions and help make your organization a better place. If you need help in this area, please contact me. Let me help bring out the best in you and/or your organization.

That's it for now. Until the next tip....

Mike Nwankwo

Founder & CEO

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