Effective Leadership: Own It!
Choices — You Have More Than You Think!
People in victim mode don’t often get into senior leadership roles. Eeyore’s favorite food is thistles, and that makes for a very negative, grumpy life.
In my experience, professional victims have decided they have few choices in life. They were late because of traffic, not poor planning. They were passed over for the job promotion because their manager is closed-minded, not because they add no value. They use words such as always when talking about bad experiences and never when speaking of positive ones. Honestly, these people piss me off! I’ve only had a couple of coaching clients with this tendency (see my first sentence), and I’ve usually stopped their statements with, “Own it!”
We’re all subject to the winds of chance, but most successful people either get out of the wind or learn how to sail.
Bad decisions or lack of action most often causes bad results, not chance. Think about the people you know who seem to have the world by the tail. You know, the ones who are always lucky! Guess what — they’re not! They’ve learned how to own what they can control and to reframe tough situations.
“That’s just the way I am,” is a phrase I’ve heard from many clients when their board or boss asks them to change. “If you say so, then it’s true,” is my typical response, but I also add, “You’re who you are because you choose to be so.”
We all have less-than-desirable behaviors that we refuse to change, because it’s hard. But don’t kid yourself — most often, you hold the key to success if you choose to use it!
How you lead, who you are as a person, whom you work for, and your happiness are all greatly within your control, so own it!
Ask these questions when you feel like a victim:
- Does it have to be this way, or is this what I’ve accepted?
- How could I view this as a success?
- What choices do I have?
- If (fill in the blank with your friend’s name — the one who’s always lucky) were in this situation, what would she do?
You can’t control everything, but even the bad things can be learning experiences … if you want them to be.
coaches CEOs to higher levels of success. He is a former CEO and has led teams as large as 7,000 people. Todd is the author of, Never Kick a Cow Chip On A Hot Day: Real Lessons for Real CEOs and Those Who Want To Be (Morgan James Publishing).