Leadership is a Choice: Choose Wisely

 In Leadership Development

I was just reading a post by Michael Hyatt, one leader I highly admire and respect. He was listing 12 things that leaders do, while setting the stage to suggest that if you do these things – you’re a leader; if you don’t – you’re not a leader. Although his entire point was quite good, it was his last sentence that stuck out to me:

“Leadership is not about experience, education or talent. It’s about choosing to lead.”

All too often, we choose to believe it’s not about a choice we make right now, but it’s about the choices we’ve made back then. What college to attend? What degree to pursue? What job to accept? Travel or work? Attend conference A or conference B? Quit work and return to school for MBA vs. stay & climb the corporate ladder? When it comes to our professional lives, we’ve all made dozens of decisions that, in hindsight, maybe we’d do differently (sometimes, we might do things pretty similarly). And we think that “had I just …, I’d be in a different situation than I am right now.” We think that with more experience, different experience, or less of a specific experience – we’d be more prepared or less jaded. We think that with more education, we’d be in higher demand and less likely to be overlooked. And we think that with more expertise and skill in X, Y or Z, we’d really be everything we want to be.

The unfortunate thing about that mindset is that it feels pretty helpless and hopeless because it’s all an all-or-nothing. It’s either more or less of something, which inevitably never feels just right. If it’s all about what we’ve done, achieved and become up until this point – well, we think what’s the point?

To me, the reason many people live their lives in this standstill is for one reason: it’s an easy excuse to excuse yourself from putting in the effort. It’s a way to make it all about what you should’ve done instead of making it all about what you could do! If people really wanted to be great leaders – they would DECIDE to be great leaders. I’m not suggesting that what we’ve done prior to this point has no impact on us, but to throw ourselves a pity party because we’re not where we want to be…is just our way of letting ourselves off the hook. If we truly wanted to be great leaders, we’d stop whining over what’s been and start capitalizing on what’s here.

This is one of the main reasons why our SuperSTAR Leadership Model is so effective. It’s all about making choices. We don’t ask you to become something you’re not or to go back & re-right your wrongs. The best leaders tend to be the people that have worked to become what they are. This is why we encourage you to start by taking our complimentary Self Assessment. It’s not meant to make you feel bad about how far you have to go; instead, it’s to remind you that in order to become the type of leader you know you can be, you must honestly and accurately assess where you’re at. So, I’ll ask you now are you going to choose or excuse the opportunity to lead well?

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