This is my 15th
of 16 lessons from 16 years in business. This post will actually reference many of the others in this series. If you would like to read the introductory post, you can do so here
While the original
plan was to publish this post yesterday, and #16 today, the 16th
, I've chosen to unveil the biggest lesson live on our online streaming video Party today at 3 pm ET (Watch and get the full details
Then, I'll post that final lesson here this weekend. But for now, lesson 15.
Lesson 15 is about an ability that we all have, all use, and along with opposable
thumbs is one of the things that make us different than any other living thing.
We can choose.
We choose literally thousands of times a day - most all of these choices made subconsciously
- based on past experience and habit. This is good, of course, because we need not be consciously dealing with many of those decisions or choices in our daily lives.
My lesson is that we become more successful, productive, happier, healthier, more confident, have better relationships, (insert any positive desirable attribute here). When we exercise our ability to choose - taking back from the subconscious some important choices, and in other cases simply recognizing that we have a choice.
As I thought about how to talk about this lesson, I realized that this lesson is imbedded
inside almost all of the other lessons. In some it is at the heart of the lesson, for others more on the edges. But choice plays an important role in each one.
#1 The Value of Writing - you can choose to write.
#2 A Leadership Primer on Celebrations - you can choose as a leader to look for places to celebrate and to make it happen.
#3 Some Advice about Advice - you can choose how to listen to and use any advice you receive.
#4 Success is about Relationships - you can choose how to build and nurture your relationships - almost every minute of your day.
#5 The Dangers of Dabbling - you can choose how much - or how little to dabble.
#6 The Importance of Innovation - you can choose to keep the status quo - or you can innovate.
#7 Look. See. Be Grateful - you can choose gratitude.
#8 Four Lessons in Change - you can choose change (it is all around you).
#9 Reading. Why We Should and Why We Don't - you can choose to read.
#10 The Starting Point of All Improvement - you can choose to believe.
#11 Make Work Play - you can choose to work, you can choose to play and you can choose to make work play.
#12 You've Gotta Take Action - you can choose to act.
#13 The Power of AND - you can choose AND.
#14 The Truth About Attitude - you can choose your attitude, yes you really can!
One more thing about each of these lessons. You can choose all of them now.
Realize too, that waiting is a choice.
What I've learned, and I relearn it every day (and I certainly don't always get it right), is that we move closer to our potential and make a bigger difference in the world when we choose more consciously and with greater intention.
Actually, it has never been said clearer or better than by Og Mandino is his fabulous book, The Greatest Miracle in the World:
Use wisely your power of choice.
Labels: choice, choosing, decision making
Today we in the United States celebrate the 231st anniversary of our Declaration of Independence. In essence, we celebrate our freedom. While declaring independence, the 56 signers of that document were, at the same time, declaring their interdependence to each other.
This paradox is not unlike the one we face in our organizations today. People want to be independent - able to make decisions and chart their career course, and yet there is more interdependence than ever - to team members, job sharing partners, collaborators, global partners and much more.
I believe the great message for us in this day, outside of pride and patriotism is not about independence, but about freedom. The freedom to choose.
The greatest freedoms afforded to citizens of the United States are the freedoms to choose, including choices like where and how to worship, where to live, what to say and what to think. It is from these freedoms that much of our national power and influence have arisen.
We can take this lesson to our organizations. Offer greater freedom. Give people more choices, offer more options. If as a leader you feel this will create chaos, you are correct at one level - some times things in the United States are a bit chaotic! But just as with my country - when the goals and objectives are clear - whether it is healing an area torn by disaster, helping friends in need, or consolidating our hearts and minds behind any cause - that freedom of choice creates creative solutions, greater engagement and fantastic results.
In our organizations we must have a clear mission - a purpose for existing that motivates and inspires those within. With this clear purpose, offering great freedom of choice won't create greater chaos - it will create create greater results.
Also posted in Leadership
Labels: choice, freedom, leadership