To my aspiring leaders our there, I bet you’ve never seen influence without conviction.

I bet you’ve never seen an opinion without opposition.

Imagine a world where Gary Vaynerchuk didn’t say things like “Nobody gives a fuck about your feelings bro”? No seriously, look:

Would he be where he is if he softened up?

What about Chelsea Handler, who has made a career out of being outspoken and opinionated?

Would Daniel DiPiazza be on his epic come up if he was always agreeable?

No. None of these people would be successful if they laid down for every opposing opinion to walk across them unscathed.

And with all of this proof of the contrary people still believe it benefits them to be agreeable, politically correct robots of the socio-emotional machine. “Watch your step” they say. “You don’t want a PR nightmare.” they plead.

But how do people know you if you have no opinions?

How can I trust you to be my leader if you have no conviction?

A walking PR nightmare is the current U.S. President-elect. Over 13 million people chose him as their leader. Talk about volumes.

There is no such thing as “bad” publicity. It’s all in your head. It’s a personal insecurity that it would greatly benefit you to let go.

I’m not telling you to piss people off for the sake of attention, though there’s surely a market for that (sorry ‘murica).

I’m saying don’t be afraid to stand for something. Don’t be afraid to crusade for your target audience, both along side them and against them when they aren’t crusading for themselves.

That’s right: tell your clients, your readers, your customers when they’re wrong.

You’re the expert. Be the expert. Be the leader. Challenge ideas. Call it how you see it.

Walk in your own direction, with confidence, to afford people the opportunity to even begin following you.

Fight for their success and don’t worry about being pretty while you do it. Just let it be known and seen in an obvious manner that everything you do is to make those peoples’ lives better. Protect them from their opposition, even when they’re their own worst enemy.

They’ll see you, the real you, and love you for it.

Anyone who gets upset and follows someone else isn’t in your target audience. Don’t worry about them.

A Small Guideline

The next time you’re wondering if it’s okay to say something in the public view ask yourself two questions:

Is it true?
Does it help your target audience to say this?

If both of your answers are yes, cut your insecurities loose and take the risk. You won’t regret it.