This week I want to chat about choice because often it feels we don’t have much of one. And yet when we really get choice it is a powerful tool – one of the most potent.
Let’s see the why and the how of it.
To think of choice in a world where we didn’t choose the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, your illness … can seem odd.
Yet understanding our power to choose is critical to being a sort of leader we most admire, namely, someone who can be counted on – even in dark times – to elevate the conversation, find the way through, uplift the team, and do the best they can.
So, what is choice?
We usually think of choice as a decision – we have two or more things in front of us and we need to pick one, like a classic pros and cons list. We weigh up the options, looking at which we like best, or collate reasons about what’s not good about the thing we reject
Yet in the context of your life, and developing your leadership mindset, choice means something more deliberate.
Choosing something isn’t about making other options wrong. When you make the alternative wrong, it keeps you tied to it in some way. You’re always looking back and wondering. Instead, choosing moves us forward.
Choice as a stand you take, rather than a decision you make.
Archimedes, the Greek mathematician and inventor from 200BC, said, ‘Give me a lever and a place to stand, and I will move the world’. Taking a stand means holding to what is essential and what you believe is important. Choosing has this same quality.
In his book Essentialism, Greg McKeown writes, ‘We often think of choice as a thing. But a choice is not a thing. Our options may be things, but a choice is an action. It is not just something we have but something we do.’
What this means is you can choose without having all the reasons, proof or justifications in place.
You can choose what you’ll do, how you’ll respond – even what you want – irrespective of whether you think it will work, whether someone else has done it, or whether you have already tried it.
Choose your new mindset lightly. Experiment. Play with it. Be curious. Try it on. Develop mastery over time.
When you notice a mindset holding you back, choose a new one. Irrespective of circumstances, we each have the power to choose our mindset and choose one that gives us power and agency.
What new mindset will you choose?
There are hundreds, even thousands, to choose from. What’s it going to be? Choose something that will empower you. All mindsets are made up. Even those that feel true and significant – you made it up! So you can make up another one that lifts your leadership and your life.
In these times I choose to be activated. Uplifted. Empowered. I choose to show up as honest as I can. I choose to stretch myself and keep growing. I choose to be a space of light and possibility for myself and others.
What about you?
Owning that you have the power to choose your mindset becomes one of your greatest assets – like a superpower.
Till next week,