|Posted on March 16, 2016 at 2:35 PM|
"That doesn't make any sense..."
I can often be quoted saying these very words, brows furrowed, and eyes to the sky.
As a 30-something young woman thrust quite suddenly into Senior Executive Level Management, I have found myself more often than not at-odds with the status quo.
Just because something has "always been done this way" ... am I required to continue the tradition? Must I march on like a good soldier, even when every fiber of my being is resisting with absolute urgency?
One of my favorite quotes, from Apple Inc's 1997 "Think Different" campaign, reads as follows:
"Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers.The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things..."
Thought Leader, Change Agent, Social Activist... All terms which have been used by others to describe me at one point or another in my career. And I add this not as a well-placed display of narcissism, but to highlight how misaligned my personality is with the very idea of a "status quo."
By design, I like to be different. At my very core, I need to be.
But how does this translate to the board room? As I sit amongst my peers--many of whom are 20+ years my senior--how do I navigate the waters effectively?
Following are some tips that I've picked up thus far... (Let's consider this a working list though, as I learn something new and seem to break another rule with each passing day.)
1. A strong wrong is better than a soft right. What does this mean? Well, when re-writing the rules, confidence is absolutely key. Having a great idea won't matter if you can't execute it with confidence and excellence. People won't buy into your ideas if they're not convinced that you believe in them yourself.
2. Everyone thinks you're crazy until they realize you're not. All of the best, most innovative and successful ideas and creations sounded crazy before they were actually implemented. The idea of a 4 oz machine which would serve as a computer, telephone, camera, television, and mode of artificial intelligence--(smartphone)--was unheard of just 10 years ago. You may be crazy now, but every Agent of Change starts out that way. So don't worry, you're in great company.
3. Run until apprehended. Don't let the fear of being criticized or shut down stop you from presenting your ideas. As the saying goes: "In the end, we only regret the chances we didn't take."
I look forward to continuing to share my experiences as a Millennial and Thought Leader in the field of Corporate Strategy.
Please feel free to share your feedback by adding a comment.
Rayna Moore is a Chief Consultant, Non-Profit Administrator and Corporate Strategist. She currently resides in Chicago Illinois. www.raynamoore.com