You Always Have a Choice

The on-going pandemic continues to throw leaders unanticipated curve balls that are outside our control. Talented people, who you had big plans for, may choose to leave your organization. Bureaucracies impose onerous, seemingly illogical rules that make your life more difficult. There is a lot in leadership that is totally outside your control, that seems to undermine your best-laid plans and chip away at your authority and autonomy. But here’s the good news . . .

You always have a choice.

And in making that choice, you regain your power as a leader . . . (even if your choice doesn’t pan out quite the way you had hoped.)

One clear sign that you need to step up as a leader is when “they” become the enemy. You know, as in “they” have no idea how this impacts us (probably true) . . . “they” can’t switch directions on us mid-stream (it seems they can) . . .“they” won’t let us do something . . . Do you feel your energy, your can-do spirit, slipping away with each ensuing “they?” Sure we all need an occasional pity party, but the longer you hang out there, the more you give away your power as a leader. Quit wallowing. Just stop.

You always have a choice.

I am not suggesting the choices are easy or ideal, but each time you make a decision about what “we” will do, instead of perseverating about what “they” have done, you start to regain your leadership footing. Even if the direction you choose has its own challenges and set-backs, the simple act of deciding pulls you off your heels and onto your toes, where you can be more responsive to whatever comes your way. Making a decision, rather than allowing decisions to be imposed on you, propels you forward. And when you are moving, it is easier to shift, adapt, and change directions based on new opportunities and variables that are now available to you . . . simply because you made a decision.

Another pitfall, which feels more productive than wallowing but has the same energy-sucking outcome, is waiting to arrive at the perfect decision/plan/approach. There is no such thing . . . and acting like you’ll find it if you just look a bit harder still results in you being stuck and powerless. Consider the data before you, make the best decision you can with the information you have, and move on. Then repeat the process over and over again until you reach your destination.

It really is that simple. Let “them” drain your energy away, or step up and decide how “we” are going to tackle the challenges before you. The choice is yours.

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