Years ago, when I came across the captivating Holstee Manifesto, I was confused as to why a company would call something so positive and inspiring by such a dark name. I thought manifestos belonged to terrorist organizations, kooks, and communists. Who else has written a manifesto? Actually, I have. And you should too. Not because we’re any of kind of crazy, but because the word has been reclaimed. (And if in fact, we are crazy, let’s be the Apple kind of crazy.)
If the term sounds rather militant, it’s probably because we think of Karl Marx and The Communist Manifesto that changed the world in a negative way. On the other side of the coin is the Declaration of Independence – a classic manifesto. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…
I’ve been coaching people to create vision boards for years. Think of your first manifesto as a vision board crafted with words. It can be a 10 page treatise like Jeff Goins’, Wrecked for the Ordinary: A Manifesto for Misfits. It might simply be a paragraph, or a page. My first manifesto was one page of words (not even complete sentences) with impact. Words that still light me up.
We are living in perilous times. There’s no question our nation is deeply divided. It’s easier to criticize the leaders who are letting us down than to stand up and BE the kind of leader you want to follow.
It starts with clarity. It’s time to put your purpose in words. You can use common words to say uncommon things. Your personal manifesto is meant to be a reminder of why you do what you do. Every single one of us have days of discouragement and doubt. In the past, I kept a file of notes received from others that I would open and read on those dark days. Those words of encouragement breathed energy and life back into my soul. Your manifesto is something you can use at strategic times to remind you of your purpose.
Your manifesto doesn’t have to be shown to others. It definitely takes the pressure off if you realize no one is going to judge you on how clear and articulate you manage to be. If it inspires you, it is time well-spent.
Here are some guidelines to start you on your quest to write your first personal manifesto.
1) Write down your core values. You can record words, phrases, or sentences. This is the foundation for your manifesto.
2) Pick your topic. If you’re like me, your head might sound like a bee-hive. Focus on one area. My first manifesto was centered around leadership. There are no rules dictating what you should cover. If you want to blend topics, go for it!
3) Write it with pen and paper. This is a suggestion that is probably connected to my personal preference in activating the creative process. I find a blank sheet of paper on the screen with a blinking cursor intimidating. However, a notebook allows doodling and scribbling. It doesn’t ask me for professionalism or perfection – it’s personal.
Take the time to create your personal leadership manifesto. It will be a powerful tool in your life. May you have the guts to live what you believe every day. Your intentionality and leadership are meant to energize your message. The world needs you.
I can help you write your very first manifesto. Join me for a free webinar on August 23rd. Registration is limited as this will be a “hands-on” session.
Become the Kind of Leader You Want to Follow
Tuesday, August 23rd
11:30 AM CT
Grab your spot now: