Making a ruckus. It’s a term I adopted into my own vocabulary after I heard it from Seth Godin. He used it to describe the kind of change he wants to create. He wants to push as many people as possible to make a ruckus
What’s a ruckus, you ask?
Anything that changes people. Any project built as an experiment, just to see what happens. A business, a social enterprise, a book, a website, a table, a workshop, an experiment with your kids, a sock.
A sock? Yes, even a sock. It’s all about how they’re made.
Now, the person who makes a ruckus. That person has a special place in my heart…
Ruckus maker [ruhk–uh s mey-ker] – noun – an individual who decides to approach her work with the intention of creating positive change
In other words, that’s you. If you read my writing, it’s because you believe your work matters. You believe in leading. You believe that it’s better to take a chance on creating positive change than to sit back, complacent with how the world is today.
I’m increasingly fascinated by the stories of ruckus makers, and I’m beginning to find that they have some things in common:
- They are exposed to new ideas through a combination of their own curiosity, influencers in their lives, and a bit of luck
- They self-radicalize by becoming obsessed with learning all about the new reality they’ve been exposed to
- Where most people flounder in the possibilities, they choose a path forward, adopting a particular cause as their own
- They focus on building a body of work related to their new path
- They use grit to power through the dip and build true expertise
- They work in public, exposing their work to criticism, praise, and feedback along the way
- They find (or build) a community of fellow ruckus makers to push them to new heights
- They seek out alternative viewpoints and discourse to broaden their horizons
- They invest in the next generation of ruckus makers through teaching, coaching, and mentoring
- They have a default setting of hope, believing that the future will be better than the past
But the overarching moral of the story I’m learning from ruckus makers is this: you can’t hope for a better future. You have to build it.
To be specific, ruckus makers are people like:
- Gina Locklear at Little River Sock Mill
- Brian Preston at Lamon Luther
- Maren Keeley and Meghan French Dunbar at Conscious Company Magazine
- Blake Mycoskie at TOMs
- Jacqueline Novogratz and Sasha Dichter at Acumen
- Scott Harrison at charity:water
- Jessica Alba and Christopher Gavigan at Honest Company
- Brett Hagler, Alex Lafci, and Matthew Marshall at New Story
- Rose Marcario at Patagonia
- Kimball Musk at The Kitchen
- Jay Coen Gilbert, Bart Houlahan, and Andrew Kassoy at B Lab
- Anne Wojcicki and Anne Lavey at 23andMe
- Neil Blumenthal and David Gilboa at Warby Parker
- Lyndon and Peter Rive at SolarCity
- Chase Adams and Grace Garey at Watsi
And these are just a few of many many ruckus makers changing the way the world turns, one project at a time. Ruckus makers might just be the key to building a better future.
Are you one of them?