In October, I was a student in Seth Godin’s altMBA program. It’s an intense month of individual and group work that takes the form of thirteen projects, three lengthy meetings per week, and giving and receiving lots of feedback.
One of the guiding principles of the altMBA is that you make assertions. You state what you believe, with the readiness to listen and revise.
I didn’t really get why that was part of it, at first. Asserting your opinion seemed like a good way to get your idea out there, but I wasn’t sure why this concept made it into the syllabus.
In the weeks since I finished the course, I’ve found myself thinking about it more often. When you assert yourself, you’re making yourself vulnerable. You aren’t hedging your bets, you’re not sitting on the fence. You’re taking a chance that someone will disagree with you, that they will assert something to the contrary, that you may turn out to be wrong.
When you assert, you create. You give yourself a platform, and it may just be you up there at first. But the power of assertion, and of standing up on the platform, is that you make yourself visible to the people who agree with you, who are moved or inspired or excited by your platform.
Soon you may find that platform is bigger than you ever thought.