I’m 30 years old today, and have finished my retrospective “how did I get here?” countdown. But instead of celebrating the the normal way (or perhaps as well as…) I wanted to use the occasion of my birthday to start a new journey. And here it is:
ROUSE Them is my latest project, an attempt to take my work as a speaker, teacher, and activist and smash it together into something which represents my deepest beliefs as a Humanist (you can read an introduction here). Felix Adler once wrote, reflecting on his role in shaping the Ethical Culture movement:
I felt myself to be the channel of a spiritual principle that operates in and through [us]. What strength I have had has been derived from that. All the influence that I ever exercised is due to that. But so far from claiming that as a special privilege, as charlatans do, my whole aim and purpose was to reveal to others the same principle, dormant but present in them, capable of being ROUSED into astounding action. (As the physicists tell us of inconceivable forces which are locked up in the atom, and which would produce vast effects if they should be released, so I hold that there is a spiritual force in [people] that can change the face of humanity if once it be released.)
I believe, as Adler believed, that human beings have extraordinary power locked within them, power to act to make the world a more humane and ethical place. I believe it is our duty to seek out what is best is others and help bring it to the surface, making them aware of their own power and rousing them to action. And I believe that in doing so – in seeking out those things which help others become more fully human – we will discover that which is most precious in ourselves. In short, I believe in Adler’s ethical maxim:
“Act So As To Elicit the Best In Others and Thereby In Thy Self”
What you’ll find on ROUSE Them is a set of principles and resources for eliciting the best in other people. I begin with inspiration, offering eight elements I believe to be essential for inspiring people. Each element will receive detailed analysis and examples over the coming weeks, ensuring that anyone in a leadership position can actually use the principles to inspire people more effectively. Then I’ll move onto other elements of inspirational leadership: persuasive technique, narrative dynamics, non-verbal communication etc., all with the single goal of empowering people to be more inspiring. You can also sign up to an email list which will keep you updated with all the latest news, and find out more about my services as a speaker, teacher, and coach.
What does this mean for this blog? Very little, and at the same time very much. This blog will continue as usual, focusing on my personal life and my work as a Humanist activist, while ROUSE Them offers me a platform to explore my professional goals more fully, enabling me to reach an audience which may not be interested in Humanism (yet!). I’ll be cross-posting content from ROUSE Them here, just like many bloggers do when they write for other publications (the posts there, since they are all going to be detailed, will be less frequent). My twitter name has changed to @JFLCroft, and that handle will tweet out all the things from here on out – I’m trying to bring my life together!
So, that’s it – this is what I’ve been working on these past months. I can’t lie: I’m super excited. This is something I’m extremely passionate about: I help teach a class on persuasion at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and the intense two weeks of that class (which begins again next week!) are a highlight of my year. I love working with passionate, talented people who want to make a difference to help them find the best possible way to spread their message. ROUSE Them will enable me to do more of that work, showing that as well as a Humanist activist I’m also an educational specialist and coach who can help organizations bring their message to life and inspire people.
Truly, this is all I’ve ever wanted to do.
Follow your bliss,