Bill McKibben has been a strong environmental advocate. He is the founder of 350.org and has coordinated 15,000 rallies across 191 countries. Time Magazine called him “the planet’s greatest green journalist,” and the Boston Globe declared in 2010 that he was “probably the country’s foremost environmentalist.”
McKibben, 350.org, and others are now fighting the well-financed oil corporations in their fight against climate change. They have taken up positions as a leader.
The Do the Math Tour, his recent campaign that landed him on the front pages of The New York Times last month is gaining momentum. Universities and colleges across the country are being forced to divest from oil companies.
McKibben says this strategy is what, despite all odds, helped South Africa end apartheid in the 1980s. Students demanded that universities divest themselves from companies supporting the pro-apartheid government. They made apartheid a dirty word worldwide.
McKibben has set a goal to make the fossil fuel industry a global dirty word.
He’s making a great start. Today, students from many colleges, including three that I am affiliated with, are asking the administrations to stop investing in fossil fuels.
Some have publicly declared they are, while others aren’t, but they all seem to be paying attention.
He admits that it will be a difficult task, but Bill McKibben remains committed to the UnReasonable.
He is not the only one who feels that it’s impossible.
However, there are limited ways to think about what can’t or shouldn’t in this context.
These words are not preferred by leaders and innovators who want to challenge the status quo.
Entrepreneurs are doomed if they remain stuck in the mindset that they can’t or shouldn’t. Many people find themselves doing just that. “I shouldn’t go to that event,” “I can’t raise the capital I require,” or “(fill out the blank).”
8 Steps to Reach the Unreasonable
1. Clear Outcome-a vision for what you want to achieve. Schools across the country are encouraged to divest from oil companies by following the McKibben model.
2. You want it so badly! You will fall harder the more significant your goal. You will fall. You will be able to get back up if you do what you want.
3. High Stakes – How much “skin” are you willing to put into this game? Also known as “throwing your hat over the walls” (now you must climb the wall to retrieve the item).
4. Smart Strategy – Create specific, measurable goals and milestones to reach them. You can monitor what you can measure. Vague goals get you ambiguous results. Here, you can create your “what and when.”
5. System for Obstacles – The more significant the goal, the more obstacles. How can you handle them to get things moving forward?
6. You need to have support. If you think you can do it all on your own, you may be fooling yourself or setting unrealistic goals. You can be more flexible, focused, and accountable with support. This is where the Board of Advisors, business friends, mastermind groups, and mentors, as well as coaches, are invaluable.
7. Keep your eyes open. Other people may have better ways to help you achieve your goals. Listen, think, consider, and then take action.
8. It’s easy for you to get psyched out by asking powerful questions. “Why can’t you land this client?” vs. “What’s the fastest way to land that client?” You’ll know the answer to any question you ask. Make wise choices.
These steps will increase the likelihood of achieving your desired outcome, regardless of what your definition of UnReasonable means.
Ask Bill McKibben.
Steps to Take for the Week
First, be clear about your UnReasonable goal. Is it too ambitious? Do you really want it? (TIP: Both fear and excitement must be present.
Next, determine what the goal is and when it will be achieved. This can be done with dates and numbers. Your brain will be more focused on concrete than abstract.
Next, create your strategy with monthly and quarterly milestones to reach your goal.
You must ensure that you have a team. Who are the people that you can turn to for help, feedback, and accountability? Minimum of two to three people.
Let’s just get started. Don’t over-analyze. It is only 1/3 of the work to get it done that you get started.