Jan 10 2019
In life you are almost always faced with a choice. A choice to do this…or that. Here’s the thing, the choice is always yours and yours alone.
The same goes for businesses and leaders alike. As leaders and businesses grow, you will be, and probably are, faced with adversity as you make the treacherous climb toward significance, and ultimately toward leaving a legacy for your successors.
I have been faced with so many choices where I have had to decide to go one way or another. Some choices haven’t always been in my favour, and haven’t always been the right choices to make; however, I have always come out ahead. I have let the forks in the road serve as moments of transformation to the next ledge on the uphill climb called life.
As I write this, I feel very humbled. I want to share with you the choices I have made, all in which have molded me into the person I am today as a wife, mom, and business owner who is eternally grateful for all of the times I should’ve turned left and decided to turn right.
I am an ordinary person living an extraordinary life. I have always dreamed big, bigger than most have said I should. I have always believed that something is a reality before it is, and then worked extremely hard at making the crazy dreams of mine real. As all of us do, I have many stories of roadblock after roadblock put in front of me, and have faced the choice to remain still or move that obstacle in front of me. Many times, I have felt like giving up, and almost have. So many instants have had me surrendering to my limiting beliefs about myself; I can’t do this, I’m not good enough, I’m not smart enough, and the worst, I’m not as good as (insert multiple names here). Luckily, I continued to make the choice to evolve and not let life’s circumstances cripple me or disarm my growth.
We can’t control the family we are born into; we don’t get to deal that hand in life. We don’t always have control over the circumstances we face, but what we do have control over are the choices we make to either sink or swim; we choose how we react to the cards we are dealt. We may not always be able to choose what fork in the road is placed in front of us, but we sure as hell get to choose the outcome.
As a little girl, I lived in a home riddled with alcohol abuse (a form of addiction that affects one in five children in North America, and many suffer in silence as I did). At a very young age, I was forced with a choice to let the cards I was dealt swallow me whole or to forge through them and take control of my outcome. I chose to stay up every night to make sure my dad didn’t fall asleep with a Colt in his hand, making sure the house didn’t go up in flames. I chose to get up every morning while everyone was sleeping to make sure he was still in bed where I left him, but most importantly I chose to view the world in a positive light. I developed a belief over the years that people do what they know best at the time, and that forgiveness is the key to your own freedom, while choice is the key to theirs.
It has been a choice to love unconditionally, and to give without expectation. What I didn’t realize was how grateful I would be for having to have made these choices. As a young girl, I didn’t realize how much this would help me to help others in the future. I didn’t realize the positive impact these dark moments would have on my ability to lead both in life, and business.
In life and business, you will always have to choose. I have discovered that one of the hardest choices you will make will be whether you will lead in life and business, or stay stuck and repeat old familiar habits. Will you choose to evolve and grow, making choices that aren’t always easy, but may be the right direction for you, your family, team members, or customers?
As a leader in life and business, you will have to choose to trust until given reason not to. You will have to choose whether or not you will be vulnerable enough to earn the trust of the people who surround you. You will have to choose between being patient or demanding results, but most importantly you will have a choice to meet your people where they are, believing that they are in fact doing the best that they know how in that moment. Choose to ask yourself: what can you do differently to help them know more, so they can do more.
I wasn’t always looked at as an inspirational leader, or a person to look to for leadership advice. It took a lot of honest feedback, tears, self-reflection, and personal growth to be able to type the words on this page, or work with organizations to develop their leaders. It is such an honor to be able to inspire positive actionable change in organizations, and the lives of the people that keep those organizations growing.
I know this post is not giving you the ‘how to’ you are probably expecting. I will, however, share with you one of the most powerful lessons I have learnt through the choices I have made, with the cards I have been dealt. I have learnt that in order to lead an organization and its people to success, you must start first with how you choose to show up in life.
What will you choose?
In order to lead in business, you must lead in your life, and be willing to help your people do the same.
As we have all heard, people work for people, not organizations. I believe a leader without followers is just someone taking a walk.
Do you choose to repeat or evolve?