In episode 57 of How To Matter, I consider the tale of a self made man and wonder whether that applies to anyone we know. The article below is the handout for the episode.
“Self-determination has to mean that the leader is your individual gut, and heart, and mind or we’re talking about power, again, and its rather well-known impurities. Who is really going to care whether you live or die and who is going to know the most intimate motivation for your laughter and your tears is the only person to be trusted to speak for you and to decide what you will or will not do.” — June Jordan
You don’t ride the coattails of others. As Bob Anderson put it, “You can’t always wait for the guys at the top. Every manager at every level in the organization has an opportunity, big or small, to do something. Every manager’s got some sphere of autonomy. Don’t pass the buck up the line.” This does not mean that you don’t intentionally benefit from your associations with others or that you don’t plan affiliations in ways that maximize your success. The point is that you perform and produce autonomously, based on your personal initiative and capacity, on what Jordan attributes to your “gut, and heart, and mind.” You are independently successful, with your success being enhanced by your associations. You always “carry your own weight,” and are not carried by others.