If you watch kids learning how to dyno [do rock climbing by jumping over tough spots instead of going slow and safe, popularized by Chris Sharma], you’ll see that the secret to developing the skill isn’t about building their muscles or learning some exotic technique. It is merely about developing the faith that it’ll work. “Merely,” of course, is a huge step. It’s nothing but a few neuron’s worth of faith, just the knowledge that you can do it. But without faith, the lead never works.

— Seth Godin in Tribes.

Haven’t you had this experience, too? I’ve certainly experienced it with snowboarding and somersaults and other such things. Not that I’m great at either. But it’s clear that belief that it’s possible is crucial to succeeding at it.

I’ve also for sure had it with business. If I don’t have faith that a business move or a marketing campaign is going to work, I’m not going to commit, and it’s not going to work. And people can smell it, too. By having faith in it, I’ll commit more, people will sense it, and there’s a chance it might work. The message and the offer still have to be good, obviously, but the odds are increased.

More from Tribes:

Faith, as we’ve seen, is the cornerstone that keeps our organizations together. Faith is the cornerstone of humanity; we can’t live without it. But religion is very different from faith. Religion is just a set of invented protocols, rules to live by (for now). Heretics challenge a given religion, but do it from a very strong foundation of faith. In order to lead, you must challenge the status quo of the religion you’re living under.

(Emphasis is mine.)


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