Leaders are not what many people think–people with huge crowds following them. Leaders are people who go their own way without caring, or even looking to see whether anyone is following them. “Leadership qualities” are not the qualities that enable people to attract followers, but those that enable them to do without them.
2. Seth Godin: Validation is Overrated:
If you're waiting for a boss or an editor or a college to tell you that you do good work, you're handing over too much power to someone who doesn't care nearly as much as you do.
3. From Chapter 23, p.93 of Hugh MacLeod's book "Ignore Everybody"
"Nobody cares. Do it for yourself. Everybody is too busy with their own lives to give a damn about your book, painting, screenplay, etc., especially if you haven't finished it yet. And the ones who aren't too busy you don't want in your life anyway."
4. Video interview from D8 with Steve Jobs (at 1hr 3mins):
"When this whole thing with Gizmodo happened, I got a lot of advice from people that said, 'You gotta just let it slide. You shouldn't go after a journalist because they bought stolen property and tried to extort you. Let it slide.' And I thought deeply about this, and I ended up concluding that the worst thing that could possibly happen–as we get big and we get a little more influence in the world–is if we change our core values, and start letting it slide. I can't do that. I'd rather quit."
BTW, I couldn't help but chuckle when he said: "as we get big and get a little more influence."
5. Henry David Thoreau, on traveling alone:
"The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready."
6. And for the younger generation, "Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann’s Lesson for Start-Ups: Go Your Own Way" ( via Liz Gannes, AllThingsD)
7. The best for last: Caine's Arcade. Awesome mini-documentary of a boy who follows his passion and builds his own arcade out of cardboard boxes. Despite the teasing from schoolmates, he opens every Sunday and waits for his first customer. From 3:35 to 4:45 pretty much describes my first ten years of running MailChimp (h/t @seriousron).
Nowadays, you can get advice from everywhere: blogs, Twitter, e-books, iBooks, office hours and startup pitch conferences. There are sites that make startup quotes, and that print startup posters. If you're an entrepreneur, following business advice is not bad–but there will be a time when your business needs you to un-follow everyone and just lead.