You are the company you keep.

Today, more than ever, our teenagers are misguided by their peers. We are busy working in careers we don’t want, working for a boss we don’t like and companies that don’t know us. Government leaders elected to serve the voting public are misled by alliances that were created by selfish business ‘tenderpreneurs’ on a different mission from the visionaries of the new South Africa.

I believe, as human beings, we are all inherently good. Brutus, Judas and Adolf Hitler weren’t born haters, but unfortunately lost their way when they gave in to the distractions of temptation, popularity and power.

It is up to us to focus on what is good for us as individuals and as a community, and live and share in that goodness every day. It is easy to stay focused on what is good, if we seek out and maintain relationships with positive leaders on the same mission.  We must never allow detractors to deter us from our goals, whether those detractors be real or imagined. We ought to create guardrails for ourselves and others in order to keep us all on track.

To make it easier, and to be sure we are aligned, we must seek out visionaries and missionaries. Once you have set a goal, set out on your mission. Be a leader, be unique, be bold. You don’t have to wait for someone else to tell you that your stuck in a dead-end job, or that there are potholes outside your driveway or that your children are falling prey to peer pressure. Don’t allow misguided followers to influence your leadership potential, and the opportunity for you to meet your goals.  

It’s never easy to start out on a mission alone. However, know that although you are responsible for that first step, there will always be curious followers, colleagues and haters ready to jump on board before long. Sift through the detractors. Choose those who share your vision, and those who are willing to act by ‘missioning’ with you on the same journey.  With visionaries and missionaries working together, you cannot lose. You build commitment from the onset, and maintain consistency because of a shared vision, with shared missionaries culminating in shared success.

SPAR used this message to help motivate participants to join the SPAR Women’s Challenge.