I read at least a book per week. I’ve read hundreds of books on leadership and freedom.
I say that so my next statements will carry weight: I know of no single book that describes social leadership better than Chris Brady’s most recent, Rascal: Making a Difference by Becoming an Original Character.
And there’s no other book I would recommend more to aspiring social leaders — even more so than all the other books we’ve listed here.
I devoured it in one sitting last night. It resonated deeply with me and I implore every one of our community members to buy it and read it immediately.
It’s relevant, inspiring, and packed with excellent examples of real-life social leaders who made a significant difference.
Consider this story about the Indian warrior, Crazy Horse:
In the summer of 1876, the United States government issued an ultimatum declaring that all Indian tribes not reporting in to a reservation would be considered hostile.
The Lakota and other tribes formed a coalition at Ash Creek at the request of the legendary leader, Sitting Bull. This was the largest gathering any of them had seen in their lifetimes.
Scouts reported that soldiers were approaching from the south, about 50 miles away.
Crazy Horse, a young but respected warrior, gathered his weapons, donned his war paint, rode out of camp on his war horse, and circled the perimeter of the camp.
Author John M. Marshall III describes the scene:
“As he finished the second turn around the encampment and began the third, the old ones watching realized what Crazy Horse was doing. He was invoking an old ritual known as ‘Gathering the Warriors.’
“Word spread quickly as more and more men joined the growing procession. It seemed as though everyone in camp stopped whatever they were doing to watch. Women began to sing the Strong Heart songs to encourage their fighting men.
“As the fourth and final turn around the encampment began, it was difficult to see where the procession of fighting men started and where it ended. It encircled the entire camp.”
The united warriors rode through the night and fought for more than 10 hours the next day, defeating their enemies at the Battle of the Rosebud. Eight days later, these same warriors defeated Custer at the Battle of the Little Big Horn.
With this book, Chris Brady is “gathering the warriors,” and I’d be honored to be counted among them.
I was born free and I intend to live like it.
This means that I will live my life while I’m alive.
No one owns me except my Creator.
No one can put me in a box, a category, a social group, a voting block, or a classification.
I am fiercely independent,
and with those aligned with me in common purpose, interdependent.
I know that with my freedom comes responsibility.
I take responsibility for my own actions, and I hold the bar high on myself.
I am not afraid to struggle, because it’s the struggle that makes me great.
I know that excellence always lies on the other side of inconvenience.
I am a learning machine.
I read, I confront brutal reality, I grow.
Long term, no one and nothing can defeat me, because I will keep coming back, stronger and better than before.
I will educate myself about the true principles of freedom,
and I will strive mightily to preserve freedom for the next generation.
I rely on no man and no government to provide for me.
I will not follow the herd of mediocrity and victim-thinking.
I don’t follow herds, instead I run with a pack – a pack of Rascals.
Let others bask in their privileges, as for me, I will invest them in my purpose.
I will defy tyranny.
I will charge the hill.
I will make a difference.
I’m a Rascal!
Buy and read the book. Be an original character. Make a difference.
Stephen Palmer is a book writer for mission-driven leaders, a small business lead generation website design architect and persuasive website copywriter, a co-founder of The Center for Social Leadership, and the author of Uncommon Sense: A Common Citizen’s Guide to Rebuilding America.
He co-authored the New York Times bestseller Killing Sacred Cows: Overcoming the Financial Myths that are Destroying Your Prosperity, as well as Hub Mentality: Shifting from Business Transactions to Community Interaction.
Stephen resides in Round Rock, Texas with his gorgeous wife Karina, awesome son Alex, and princess daughters Libby, Avery, and Laela.
Subscribe to Stephen’s blog and contact him at stephen [at] leadershipwriter [dot] com.