Written by
Gautam Bakshi
Date published
February 10, 2023

Photo by Boston Public Library / Unsplash


Authority is an exciting topic. As children, we are taught to respect it and listen to it all the time. Naturally, this behaviour follows us into adulthood, where we get better and better at it!

Have you stopped and wondered where authority comes from? As children, we try to figure it out, so we model it in several ways - people who are:

  1. Older than us.
  2. seen as leaders
  3. in a position of power.

The problem is other than people who are being older than us, the idea of authority is continually shifting. There is a lot of power in staying authority, so those in the position usually do anything to maintain it. Still, as this perception of leadership and power shifts, it causes confusion to us.

Who should we listen to? Why does one person or group have the mindshare while others do not?

The truth is, it is usually made up. As adults, we know when kids ask us deep questions such as the meaning of life or what we can do to save the planet, we don’t have any idea. We had no idea when we were little, and now we have no idea, but to one little person at that moment, we are the authority to help them.  We don’t want them to despair, so we answer, but silently we know we have no idea what we are talking about.

This is true about most people in the world. With no skin in the game, everyone has no downside of acting like an authority, which means there are two ways to proceed.

You can either act like it also as you have as much authority as others. Or you can put in the skin in the game(or make sure others are aware they do not have skin the game) to try to go further and find the truth.

The truth is, you do not need anyone to give you the green light to do something. You can do it. I know people who have launched multi-billion dollar funds with zero initial background. They just put their own money in and got some backers then did their best(they did very very well based on the performance of their funds, not fees).

Other people in the world of sustainability are fighting for social justice and helping the planet. They do not represent any big company or industrial group; they use their skills and talents to take action.

The people who have changed the world are the ones who had to fight to do so(Gandhi, MLK, Mandela, etc.).  Hero’s aren’t hero’s only because they win; they are hero’s because they dare to fight and grow themselves.

Do not wait for anyone to tell you it’s okay to start. Start yourself, and through the process, you will learn.  One day you will appear to be an expert and be surprised at how you got there.

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