Chase the accomplishments of others, and you’ll miss out on your own greatness.
When people ask what I do, they find out that I coach angels and that my mission is to help you be your better angel. They get curious, ask a little more, and at some point, without fail, they ask: “Are you going to be the next Tony Robbins?”
When Kobe Bryant entered the NBA, he was hailed as “the next Michael Jordan.” The same thing happened to Lebron James when he entered the NBA. Thankfully, Kobe and Lebron established themselves by their own merits and on their own terms. They showed the world that they were Kobe and Lebron, not Michael.
The boy band One Direction experienced something similar. After a strong debut album, many labeled them “the next Beatles.” One Direction weren’t the first to receive that label either. In the past, other bands were also considered to be “the next Beatles.” One Direction just happened to be the latest. But none ever became bigger than the Beatles.
Great leaders understands that being “the next big thing” is not the direction to follow.
Leaders don’t fall for the trap of becoming the next anything. The next Tony Robbins, the next Michael Jordan, the next Beatles. It’s not who you are!
Your mission and talents as a leader are different from those other guys. Your road to success may parallel theirs. You may even be built on the same principles. But your success as a leader will be expressed in your own matchless flavor. None can do what you do.
Never forget: you are the leader and champion of you!
Chasing “the next…” is an empty pursuit. It distracts from your mission, and prevents you from manifesting your greatness. It also leads to imposter syndrome: the feeling of being a fake and a phony.
The biggest problem with being “the next…” is that you automatically set yourself up to be outdated. Because there will always be another “next.”
This 2012 commercial from Best Buy perfectly presents the problem of “the next…”:
Don’t be a sillyhead. Chasing “the next…” is a fool’s errand.
The One and Only
Instead of seeking to be the next big thing, great leaders work toward being The One and Only. In the tech industry there is only one Google, one Facebook, one Apple. History only has one Amelia Earhart, one Ella Fitzgerald, and one Frida Kahlo. And when it comes to fictional villains, no one comes close to imitating Darth Vader, the Joker, or Voldemort.
Being a One and Only is where greatness lies. The legendary boxer Muhammad Ali understood this. He fully owned who he was, and what he was about. He didn’t chase the accomplishments of others. Rather, he made his mark on the world (not just in boxing) by focusing on unleashing his inner champion.
Did Muhammad Ali have critics? Yes. Did he offend some people? Of course he did. That’s what happens when you become a One and Only.
Be Your Own Category
In his podcast The Accidental Creative, Todd Henry reminds us that “cover bands don’t change the world.”
If you spend your time trying to copy a style, looking to attract the masses, or following trends, you will not be One and Only. You will be an imitator. A cover band.
Bands like the Beatles change the world because they focus on qualities that make them unique and timeless. They focus on the purest and highest expression of their talent. They make their own category.
Shakespeare was not the first to write a play. But he invented new words in the english language, challenged the conventions of his day, and adapted universal themes to his form of expression. In the process he created a category for himself and his plays: Shakespearean.
What kind of leader do you want to be? The next big thing? Or The One and Only?
Don’t be a sillyhead. Trying to be the next big thing is shortsighted. The next big thing comes and goes. It is quickly replaced by the next next big thing.
The One and Only changes the world because it is inimitable. No other person or thing comes close to expressing the genius of the One and Only.
Being One and Only means creating your own category. And it’s the hallmark of true leaders.
Thank you for reading!
Everything I write is with the goal of helping you. If this post was helpful, please share it with someone you know. It might help them out.
If you would like improve as a leader, and be the One and Only version of yourself, schedule a call with me to get started today.
In the meantime, may good find you!
(Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash)
Leave a Reply