Editor's Letter —April 2020
“Consensus vs. Commitment”
A few years ago, I came across a piece of advice which suggested that to move forward successfully, it was never about consensus amongst a group, but a commitment to a cause. Since coming across this piece of insight, I’ve seen it repeat over and over in our everyday lives. We’ve seen this replicated in both business and sports countless times. Talented individuals without cohesive team chemistry are bound to lose in the finals.
A business with tons of money and great products inevitably implode. We’ve talked at length about how creating something compelling and exceptional often requires input beyond just your singular self. Think of your average Hollywood movie or more recently, Travis Scott’s groundbreaking Fortnite concert. Somewhere along the way, differences of opinion most likely arose, but without a commitment to the cause, none of it would have been possible.
You have to clearly understand the difference between consensus and commitment. In the case of consensus, it’s an across the board agreement that this is the right move to make. Instead, commitment is a decision to follow the strategy rather than fight it. You may not agree, but you’re sure as hell going to do your best to move forward as a team.
To reel it back to MAEKAN, we’ve most recently come to terms with our own approach towards decision making. The speed of execution was frankly of concern. We often got stuck in the details and failed to move forward, or did some at a snail’s pace. You can’t expect things to magically turn around without new stimulus or changing variables. So the mindset change began.
“Big fucking shoutout to @charis for saying we should move to Discord. I thought this was a dumb idea and now I realize how fucking dumb I was. Core reason being, Discord is very much an easy-going third space. Slack is where the master lives. Once again, proof that Charis has the best brain in this organization”
– Somebody at MAEKAN who let his feelings known in a backchannel on our Discord server (luuuuuuuuuuuuulz)
We launched our Patreon page and migrated to Discord within a few weeks after lamenting the lull we had fallen into. The decision had its fair share of potential drawbacks but we ultimately defaulted to “what’s to lose?” Sometimes that’s the right attitude. We constantly live in fear of failure, of making a mistake, but overlook the impact of letting go. Our modern brains are so overcome with negativity that we never lose sight of the flipside. Don’t wait for your peers to allow you the chance to do something, just commit.
If an idea ever comes up and you’re uncertain, think not about the outcome but the ability to try and see something through. Talk is cheap, so they say, and the ability to commit and shed fear is incredibly powerful. These are attitudes that feed off each other and compound.
It seems like a new era is emerging as a silver lining to COVD-19. Our chance to try new things has never been better.