The Ones Who Don't Go Away

Posted by on June 20, 2011

The Monday Morning Memo for June 20, 2011

How to Become Self-Selected, Part Two

Monday Morning, One Week Ago – “Honey, I liked this week’s memo but you never really told us how to become self-selected. You just gave us examples of other people who have done it.”

I took another look at that memo and said, “You’re right, Princess. I intended the reader to read the line that says, ‘The self-selected are those who take action, the ones who participate, the ones who don’t go away,’ and understand that you select yourself for leadership when you take action, participate, and don’t go away. But now that I look at it again, I can see that I didn’t connect those attributes to the reader nearly so clearly as I thought.”

Self-selection is an important life skill, so I’ve decided to make another run at explaining it:

Leaders aren’t appointed or selected so much as they’re simply acknowledged.

Let’s look at the example of Peter, James and John. People assume Jesus chose these three above the other nine. But I’m convinced Jesus was merely reacting to the fact that they chose him more strongly than the other nine. Anytime Jesus stood up, they stood up. When he walked to a different spot, they followed him to that spot, even if it meant getting out of the boat. They were the ones who were always with him.  Every time Jesus looked up from what he was doing, Peter, James and John were there. This is what it means to be self-selected.

To be self-selected is to volunteer. No, that’s not it. To volunteer is to say that you’d be willing to take action if it were asked of you. But self-selection doesn’t wait to be asked. E.W. Howe (1853-1937) understood self-selection perfectly, I think. “When a friend is in trouble, don’t annoy him by asking if there is anything you can do. Think up something appropriate and do it.”

The world is full of educated people waiting for an opportunity to demonstrate their competence. Most of these people will go to their graves having never gotten “their big break.”

Education is one thing. Recognition is another. Education is what you receive when you chose to become informed. Recognition is what you receive when other people see the value of your expertise. Education without recognition has very little value in the marketplace.

Wizard Academy is a business school. Is this beginning to make sense to you?

Do you want to be a published author? Take the advice of Mark Twain, “Write without pay until someone offers to pay.” Write intelligent, clearly worded letters to the editor. Submit feature stories and op-ed pieces to magazines and websites. Write a blog on whatever subject you’d like to become known as an expert. If you have something to say worth hearing, people will tell other people and soon your readership will begin to grow. It may take a few years but if you self-select and don’t go away, you’ll someday have a book in print.

Wizard Academy is a business school. Is this beginning to make sense to you?

Do you want to be a public speaker? Talk constantly about your subject. Talk to the crowd that gathers at the water cooler. Talk to Ms. Johnson’s seventh grade class on career day. Talk to a breakfast club. Talk to the Rotary Club. Find 100 different opportunities to talk about your subject for free, no matter how small and insignificant your audience. Prepare for each of these audiences as if you were being highly paid. You’ll be a highly paid public speaker before you reach venue 150.

The myth of a “big break” is what keeps the average person from becoming successful. They keep waiting on someone else to do something instead of simply selecting themselves and taking action.

The self-selected person is not the average person. When Willie Nelson was asked what it felt like to be an overnight success, he answered, “Overnight success feels great after playing 10 years in honky-tonks behind chicken wire.”

What do you want to see happen in your life? Are you willing to select yourself for it?

Wizard Academy is a business school.

Select yourself.

Pick a class and come.

Roy H. Williams

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