A Simple Act Of Defiance

Mar 26, 2024
3 min read


I think about leadership often.

All aspects of it.

However, what interests me most are the very personal aspects of leadership so often left aside in favour of the popular and populist.

I'm particularly interested in how we show up, how we walk through adversity and come through to the other side; and how we tune in to one another to build bridges held up by empathy and compassion.

Much has been written about leadership. Walk into any bookstore and the shelves will be filled with headlines and book covers vying for your attention. However, what we don't see much of is the acknowledgement that the world will continually throw a cat amongst the pigeons.

That that shit will continually hit the fan and that there will be one person in most meetings that will be armed with a grenade, and they will throw it in your lap at the the perfect time to have you reeling.

We don't hear much about a shrivelling pipeline, a shortening runway and a burnt up burn-rate — a marginalised community, voices unheard or diminished and the weight of privilege as it holds the under-represented, down.

This last year has been an unsettling year for many. It feels that the post-pandemic blues have not yet lifted; leaving many confused in the behaviour of others and their ability to treat us like a punching bag for their inadequacies.

This last year has been a paradox of upheaval, uncertainty and crisis in some parts and a leadership vacuum in others.

What I've come to realise is that the world will always be like the very moment we are currently in. Throwing a grenade and seeing how we react when we are in our deepest struggle.

It will be chaotic, complex and filled with the uncontrollable.

Poking at our insecurities and watching us react and fall apart.

Laughing as we struggle. Turning its attention on the next most interesting thing.

And within this allegory, we are the pigeons and the chaos and uncertainty that is beating us down, is that damn cat.

Whenever I experience uncertainty and fear, whenever I feel like my world is rocked and I wake up feeling beaten down by the world, the business, or a client; I remind myself that we must resist and we must defy this chaos and all that which we can not control.

I reach out to my most trusted friends and confide in them. I ask their advice and I seek their solace and encouragement.

Ever so grateful for their existence in my life.

And as I reflect on this advice, a consistent theme arises as it did last week when I reached out to a friend.

Every time we get up and take a small step forward, we are defying the chaos.

We are choosing love over hate, and calm over the tremors of anxiety and fear.

Every small, meaningful step forward, no matter how insignificant it may seem to you right now, is a simple act of defiance which builds our resilience.

Day by day, one little act of defiance at a time.

See you next week.

This essay was first published for subscribers of The Weekly Journal of Creative Leadership and is copyright
© Dimitri Antonopoulos, Tank Pty Ltd and can not be re-published without the express permission of the Author.


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