No Apologies: I Am An Innovative Disrupter

People are sometimes confused about the difference between innovators and disrupters. It’s not exactly black and white, but there are real distinctions, and it’s not just splitting hairs. Think of it this way: Distrupters are innovators, but not all innovators are disrupters – in the same way that a square is a rectangle, but not all rectangles are squares. Still with me?

Innovators and disrupters are similar in that they are both makers and builders. Disrupters, however, are radical by literally uprooting and changing how we think, behave, do business, learn and go about our day-to-day business. One definition of a disrupter’s philosophy (modus operandi) is to interrupt status-quo, often only temporarily, but nonetheless to recreate a new direction or to change an organization’s priorities. Innovative Disrupters are at once both destructive and creative.

I am an Innovative Disrupter.

I remember wondering what was wrong with me; why are people intimidated or offended when I came onto the scene. My beloved wife would be quick to remind me about my strong personality, which did little to make me feel any better about myself. It took a few years before it dawned on me that my god-given leadership (character) is that of a disrupter, which had caused me to regard myself with disdain – after all, who doesn’t want to be liked?

Eventually not liking myself got tired, which caused me to consider my worth to my wife and children, who not only loved me… but they actually like me too. Imagine that! A likable disrupter. That’s when I came into a very cool understanding that what I had believed for so long was a total lie that was hiding the truth of my real clue as a leader and Innovative Disrupter.

Status quo is Latin for “existing state”. With hindsight it became clear that people were not generally afraid of me, but more so the changes I introduced to organizations. In face, they were afraid of themselves and their inability to embrace change more than they were of me. Many people are just weird like that. People are often more eager to preserve existing conditions than taking risks to improve or altogether stop doing things that no longer matter or make sense, i.e.; “status quo”. For innovative Disrupters like me, that is akin to opening the front door of a china shop and shoving a really big bull inside, then slamming the door shut behind it.

All Disruption Is Not Bad

Unfortunately, when people think about interrupting their status quo, they often think about it in negative ways. In a context of normalcy and comfort (which means the condition of being normal, the state of being usual, typical, predictable or expected: status quo) change is too risky. People push back and resist change and progress when they want to maintain their own sense of status quo.

I’m a big believer that life changes as much as you want it to. FYI… I run at change.