Dare to be Different

Sometimes it does us good to step off the well trodden path, and try something a little different. Once a year, I pick up a guitar and play and sing to a small crowd of around 250 people. It’s scary. It’s worse than scary, it’s terrifying. I’m not very good at it and yet the audience are very encouraging, and supportive. I’m off for the 2010 baptism of fire. I’m sure it will be fine…afterwards.

Dare to be different. It’s good for the soul. Good for you. Good for your people. You get the picture. It’s good.

Have a lovely weekend.

Author: Doug Shaw

Artist and Consultant. Embracing uncertainty, sketching myself into existence. Helping people do things differently, through an artistic lens.

6 thoughts on “Dare to be Different”

  1. Hey Amy – I try many things.

    Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman….

    Don’t worry, I’m not daring to be THAT different. Those few words, to most people, are the opening bars of Stand By Your Man. A good ole country tune made famous by the late, Great Tammy Wynette. Now you might think these words don’t have a lot to do with leadership, except perhaps form a diversity perspective?

    Well the truth is, they don’t. And yet…how did it go?

    I sang these words, and many others, last Friday and Saturday night. The camp was great fun, hugely relaxing (for most people). I’m asked to kick the proceedings off by picking up a guitar, playing and singing to the masses. It’s frightening. Actually it’s terrifying. Nerves, fear, they both have a habit of….restricting us. And it’s important to push on through. And so I do. An hour of Friday evening passes, stage lights, stage frights! A few brave folk come up and join me for a duet or two. And we get through it. Actually we tear the roof off the marquee, then put it back again.

    I only do this once a year, and the feeling of vitality it leaves me with endures and aids me through other challenges long into and beyond the summer.

    We all have the responsibility to encourage, and empower. I’m not suggesting we all try to copy this method of managing fear and achieving inspiration. I do encourage, oh go on then, dare you….to be different. Not often, but just enough to show that ordinary folk can have a true leadership role, and the ability and vitality to forge great connections with others.

    Altogether now:

    I keep a close watch on this heart of mine
    I keep my eyes wide open all the time
    I keep the ends out for the tie that binds
    Because you’re mine, I walk the line…

  2. Egad, Doug–are you having a major cramp in your hand??!

    We gotta JAM sometime. Your place or mine? The fair circuit is just kicking off here next month…plenty of sweet corn, bbq pork, cornfed Iowa beef, brats and brew (cold, apologies). Come on over and I’ll see if I can score you a ticket for RAGBRAI (google it)!

    “Stand By Your Man”….drat, I thought that was Jake and Elwood made that one famous!

    A serious note (just one, that’s my quota) there is great power in music with a message. Matters little the talent level of the messenger. Sorry Mick, it’s the song, not the singer.

  3. Hey Craig – I think I was probably trying to reach for a note….less travelled!

    Let me see about getting a business gig in Iowa and for sure we’ll do the real thing too. That would be such fun.

    I love your closing point. I think I’m living proof.

    Take care and keep hitting the bullseye feller.

  4. She also wrote D-I-V-O-R-C-E! Ironic, huh? You’re an inspiration to us all. I don’t know how you find the time and energy to do all the things you do and be such a social media star. Do you eat raw vegetables? Did you have those nerves when you first starting engaging in social media? It’s really not all that different from getting on stage. I’m working on a blog post about how the experts have always said that women let fear of judgment hold them back from promoting themselves and telling the world about their wins. I’m exploring if they are going to let that shyness rob them of their opportunity to grab the limelight in the realm of social media. Now is the time when a lot of men are still wondering if it’s worth the investment.

  5. Hey Amy, she sure did. Thanks for your kind words. I get nervous quite often I think it has something to do with trying new stuff a lot? So in a weird way I get kinda used to it. He. Who am I trying to kid, scares the pants off me 🙂 I don’t think nerves hit when I started writing – I enjoy it. I do sometimes think….how many folk will engage, and of course that’s largely out of my control so I just get on with writing stuff I hope is useful and enjoyable for people.

    I like the thinking behind your blog post – if I can help in any way with a few nervy thoughts just ask. Interesting that I can think of a few women really on the social media ball, your good self included. And a couple a guys too. Men, a bit slow usually 😉

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