The Choice

A good leader realizes that there will be those who are thankful for the provision and others who will abuse it, if not reject it outright. Moreover, he recognizes that both response and rejection can be used to his advantage. It does not matter if it is fission or fusion, for in either case vast amounts of energy are released and are consequently available to be harnessed.

The challenge is with those who are neither cold nor hot. The lukewarm people of the world (be they employees, friends or family) are unwilling to commit to one direction or another; neither are they willing to declare their true feelings or intentions. They hide in a haze of mediocrity, making themselves unavailable when you most need them and fully available when the moment has passed.

In my experience, steady leadership creates a pressure field that, over time, causes the lukewarm people in your field of responsibility to make the choice. They eventually and invariably prove themselves to be either with you or against you.

When they start to make that choice, don’t get in their way! Don’t react to the mounting pressure that will likely be causing them to thrash about as they approach the moment of decision. If your expression is consistent with truth, the sorting that occurs on this basis is a good and necessary thing. Let it unfold naturally and without manipulation and your field of influence will sort out without being conditioned by prejudice, personal preference or narrow vision.

7 thoughts on “The Choice

  1. Hi Gregg,

    Really appreciate this comment as I am catching up on your blogs this week.

    As a sales manager, you constantly have to bring people back to what they want, because one cannot make someone else hot (for very long). We can provide a spark, but over time, they decide how hot their fire burns.

    Thanks for this, very useful!

    James

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  2. Chuck Reddick

    One thing that i have noticed about great leaders is that they possess a wonderful balance between ego and humility. What I have discovered from this is that great leaders are great followers as well; they don’t always have to be out front or the center of things, but instead are only to happy to give up the reins when another person has earned it.

    Thanks for today’s piece Gregg – very timely.

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  3. Brad

    Thank you – very timely – and is a helpful reminder not to react but “let” things work out.
    Watching someone I care deeply for, thrash about, is challenging ,especially when I see if they make a choice and just “go for it” all would work out. My tendency is to swoop in and rescue or solve the problem….that’s not leadership, that’s manipulation…my addiction is to be a problem solver for others so they can get on with life, but that doesn’t help them to become their best, and it keeps my forward progress attached to their progress – which can keep us all at a level of mediocrity. Not a healthy cycle – a ha!
    Excellent food for thought.

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  4. Strawberryfield

    When the pressure comes on, that is what really separates the men from the boys. Not failing, when that crucial phase of someone faced with the choice occurs, usually requires a solid habit of being dependable under pressure. All the practice of not rushing to judge every small event or control everything in your world, will have developed a strong muscle that lets you watch the tempest but not be swept up in it. Taking offense seems the most likely way to succumb because the one choosing will usually try to make it very personal as the moment intensifies. I keep reminding myself it’s not personal they’d look to destroy anyone or thing they thought was responsible for this painful choice. Helpful post, thank you!

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  5. Ricardo B.

    This is where the right attitude of empathy is so critical! If one becomes way too sympathetic to the individual struggling to make the decision, maybe even feeling sorry for them because you see how much discomfort they are enduring, then likely you will mess things up and they end up suffering far longer than necessary. The suffering is just due to indecision, straddling the fence as they say, and not because of some random insult which would justify intervention.

    I think we’ve all had the experience of taking off a sticky band-aid; it’s usually best to just rip it off in one full swipe than to slowly peel around the edges. That’s the way I analogize a mounting pressure-full decision. It’s not going to get any better once it starts, so just make up your mind and decide.

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