Disrupt the disruptors!

This has been a week of stepping out. Going into new territory or doing the old stuff differently, with greater lightness and vulnerability.

It’s not always been comfortable. But it has been fruitful. Especially, if you think that letting go is liberating…

I’m not suggesting that we always have to live our life on the edge if we’re going to grow as Quiet Disruptors. Just that we need to be prepared to go there and embrace our own disruption.


Currently, I’m aware of three key reasons, though there may well be more (do drop me a line if you’ve got some more insights…)

1. Only people make change

I think this is such an important foundation for us. Apart from environmental catastrophes (and even these usually have the hand of man in there somewhere), all other changes that affect us are instigated by people. Can you think of anything that’s not?

So if we are going to disrupt our world – local or global – then we are change makers. There’s a consequence of what we say or do, however small. It’s not just theoretical.

If we don’t realise this, then we are potentially dangerously naive. Or else fooling ourselves about our intentions or capabilities.

So the process of our being disrupted tempers us – in a good way. Not to dull our interventions, but to train us in using their power.

The people I know who are growing as Quiet Disruptors, and having a more profound impact, are those who themselves have been disrupted. Things have happened that could have shut them down or blown them off course. But once they’ve picked themselves up, they’ve found a renewed focus on what is really important to them. And they’ve discovered new ways of making an impact. Ways they might have been blind to previously.

2. It grows empathy

The effect of being personally disrupted can go two ways.

Sometimes we close down and stay shut. Something has fractured and we can’t put it back together again. Unless we get help, we may never fully recover. And our ability to bring generous thoughtfulness to significant issues may be permanently warped.

However, it can also go the other way if we seek to keep our attitude healthy and guard our hearts. We become more able to understand what it’s like to be in another’s shoes. Our capacity for empathy is enlarged.

This means we become more thoughtful in making or provoking change. We have more insight because we see people more clearly. And have a better understanding of what it feels like to be them.

It doesn’t stop our being change makers. Instead, it heightens our capacity for good change, a positive disruption that bears good fruit in the lives of others. And we all grow as a consequence.

3. It tempers our control

I fear that if we lived without disruption to our own lives, then we’d be in danger of exercising too much control. And not realise it.

Being a Quiet Disruptor is potentially a position of significant power. We tend to step back from the immediacy of the situation in order to see what’s happening more clearly. Then we think, probably a lot deeper than others. And as a result, we probably know where the bigger levers of change are. That which will make more difference, over the long term.

This is a privileged position and with it comes responsibility.

Naturally speaking, we do not fear change that we see will be beneficial. But control unchecked can be dangerous and we can be tempted to overlook our own vulnerabilities.

Ultimate power, without the checks – especially internal checks – is a recipe for disaster. As we know…

Welcome disruption!

Disruption, challenge and failure can all be our friends if we see them with a healthy perspective.

Mine this week have included the brilliant Extraordinary Business Book Club 10-day book proposal challenge. Thanks, Alison Jones for pushing me so hard to draft my proposal for ‘Quiet Disruptors – how to make the kind of ruckus you were created for.’

But I also know that others have had far more personally challenging situations. And to you, I offer the simple words of St Barton’s Ode.

“I am wounded but not slain.
I will lay me down and bleed a while,
And then I’ll rise to fight again.”

This week

… we had torrential rain (and wind) for a few days and it transformed the valley.

And I also continued grappling with exploring Quiet Disruptors – see the short daily posts below:

MONDAY: Untangling the problem
TUESDAY: Stop trying so hard
WEDNESDAY: Getting used to being surprised
THURSDAY: So how shall we live (thanks especially for all the comments on this post and the retweets)
FRIDAY: … with gratitude 

Thanks for your encouragements and comments. You have some amazing insights to offer… how about sharing some more?