Michael Hayman and Nick Giles identify: Mission: “A driving desire to change things, a higher purpose that drives (improvement).” (best expressed in 5 words) Campaigning: “Turning the mission into a powerful reality, the activist mentality.” Momentum: “The measure of success moving and growing faster than the competition.” Are you a campaigner, an activist, a disruptor? …on a mission to secure the momentum you require to change the piece of the world that you want to improve? This is a refreshing view of change (particularly the link to activism) and what it takes to move to action and secure the level of change that will make the difference. But what does it take to be an activist/campaigner? Hayman and Giles identify:
- Drive (or refusal to give in): Do you have the drive to keep going when it is easier to stop or when people tell you it will not work? Remember that there is a default movement against change and an inherent fear of new/different. Set your mission with care – it needs to be simply expressed and the focus of your drive.
- Self improvement: Do you build in enough time to reflect and learn? Treat experience and opportunity as stepping stones forward as part of the ups and downs of a campaign.
- Communication: Without communication there is no campaign. Reinforce the mission and the purpose often – drive the mission daily…this is the flywheel. If it is not simple and compelling there will be no followers.
- Disruption: To achieve change you need to disrupt the current status quo: If your mission is to address dissatisfaction or a need for change and this is multiplied by a Vision (Mission) and First Steps (Campaign) and this is greater than the Resistance you will achieve Momentum. (based on Gleicher formula)Overcoming the Resistance of status quo requires a disruptive drive to succeed in achieving non-reversable change.
- Persuasion: You will not achieve your mission alone – persuasion is the key to securing followers – it is followers that transforms a lone nut into a leader. You need a tipping point to secure change – persuade through the strength of purpose, mission and ambition – people follow those with a deep and unshakable belief about what they seek to change. Unwavering commitment to change.
- Connection: Connect and network widely to secure support, seek feedback and make things happen.
- Optimism: To overcome the status quo activists and campaigners need to be optimistic. The vast majority of people will give up before they realise the change they seek. Develop the ability to bounce.
“Go big or go home. Because it’s true. What do you have to lose?” (Eliza Dushku)
Maybe then: As educators and leaders we should assume the role of activist and trigger campaigns to achieve missions. This language underlines the inertia of the status quo and that if we really want to trigger change and make a big difference – irreversible change – then activism and campaigning is more appropriate representation of the energy and commitment required to overcome the inherent resistance and secure the improvement we seek.
Go forth and disrupt, commit to a mission that you love, use ridiculous amounts of drive, communicate for buy-in, create a movement through persuasion and connect with others to achieve a level of momentum that makes the change stick and irreversible.
Go big or go home
Further Reading: (“Mission” by Michael Hayman and Nick Giles is excellent and very applicable to educational leadership)