Steve Arneson, my executive coach, espouses the belief that leaders should use the phrase “I Believe” more frequently. It’s hard to be a leader when people don’t know your fundamental beliefs. Why would you follow somebody who doesn’t mostly believe what you believe?
Below is my Belief Manifesto. In preparing this I noticed that I’ve been remarkably consistent in my writing, speeches and things that I do.
- I believe that “doer” is the only job description that matters. If you have an ordinary job description, you are a cog in the machine. Fix that or be swapped out for a cheaper part.
- I believe we exist to help. The fulfillment that we feel when we help or protect another–without an explicit quid pro quo–is what makes us human. People notice, respect it and want to do likewise.
- I believe we owe a debt of knowledge. Our successes are the result of knowledge that was gifted to us by others. We repay that debt by sharing our knowledge with future generations. To do less is irresponsible.
- I believe that trust should be assumed. Assuming goodwill is easier and less tiring than the alternative.
- I believe in answering the unasked question. Understand the context of questions, and you’ll help by providing true understanding. You will become effortlessly generous and invaluable.
- I believe people haven’t changed in 5,000 years. They won’t change in the next few. Learning from the past is easier than predicting the future.
- I believe in diversity. Magic happens when deep experts with different backgrounds, cultures and experiences mingle.
- I believe that the only business is change. There’s no longer any such thing as a “safe” industry, job or outlook on life.
- I believe in the need for deep expertise. Dilettantes are common, but expert artists are rare. Mastery really does matter. Be an expert in something.
- I believe 3 in 2. Becoming indispensable takes hard work. Do in 2 years what takes others 3 and you will achieve mastery in a way that will be noticed and desired by others.