I’ve had the opportunity to help leaders shape their businesses, create positive change, and impact the lives of employees, clients and communities. And because of this, I consider myself one of the more fortunate people on the planet. At the same time, I believe that I get to do these things because of a series of intentional choices I’ve made throughout my life. Part of what is so challenging for me (and many of the profiles and assessments I’ve taken also reflect what I’m about to say) is that I do not understand why sometimes people don’t adopt the same mindset that I have, and that is this:
Each of us is in complete control of our choices and path in this world.
Yes, circumstances beyond our control happen. Yes, unexpected events occur. Yes, in every instant, not everything goes exactly as we would prefer. Here’s the deal though: none of that defines a person, and each person, in every moment, has a choice about how to respond to any given circumstance. In my opinion, no matter what a person may say, none of us – EVER – is without choice. With the ability to choose we can make anything, and I mean anything, of any situation or circumstance. This actually reminds me of one of my favorite scenes from the movie “Say Anything” with Jon Cusack. His character, Lloyd Dobbler, just had his heart broken by the girl he loves in the movie, and he is getting counsel from a bunch of kids at the Gas n Sip. When he asks them why they are by themselves on a Friday night with no girls anywhere, they tell him it is by conscious choice. I love it. In the movie you can see that’s clearly not the case, as they seem like less than desirable matches, but the sentiment rings true.
As an employee of a firm, you have the ability to make a conscious choice about your circumstance – in every moment. Want to achieve more? Do it. Want to get a promotion? You, and only you, are responsible for the way you network through an organization, for your accomplishments that might warrant the promotion, and for the impact you have. Can others help? Sure. But YOU own the responsibility. When you soul search do you recognize that your personal mission doesn’t align with your company’s? You aren’t trapped, or being held hostage at your company. Go do something else! I get it; you have responsibilities to your family, and money is a critical factor. At the same time, people figure it out. I’ve seen it hundreds of times. People can learn how to fulfill their passions AND make money. Shouldn’t you? Darn right you should.
As a leader of an organization you have the ability to make conscious choices about the health, prosperity, and impact of the business. Do you have people on the team who are eating away at the culture and fabric of the firm? That is totally in your control. Do something about it! As opposed to focusing on the barriers and limitations, focus on the result. The long view of this is how those critical moves will move the organization forward (as opposed to the things holding you back). After all, isn’t your responsibility as a leader to model what it looks like to live the values and vision of the firm? If you don’t who will????
You have the ability and responsibility to choose – every day, in every moment. Choose wisely.
Andrew Freedman, Principal at entreQuest, specializes in helping eQ’s clients grow by creating well aligned company cultures and strategies that result in remarkable client and employee experiences.