“There is a choice you have to make in everything you do. So keep in mind that in the end, the choice you make, makes you.” ~ John Wooden
We not only make decisions, we are made by them. Every one of us is where we are today as a result of the decisions we made yesterday. Decisions powerfully shape our lives, and the effects of a major decision can linger for years or can even last for a lifetime.
Of course, not all decisions are equal. A few major decisions, particularly those about our personal values, give direction to all of the other choices we make. Values put choices in context and simply our decision-making, making it more consistent. In fact, once you know a person well, you can usually figure out which choices they’re going to make based on what they value.
Every leader faces a specific context in which they must exercise judgment in making the right call. However, some decisions transcend our individual situations and are worth making regardless of our particular circumstances. They establish values that, in turn, inform a host of future choices that we will make.
Decisions with Lasting Value:
1) Personal Growth: Decide to Grow Every Day by Developing Your Strengths
Being intentional about personal growth is a wonderful habit to have. However, taking the time to study, practice, and gather advice only brings uneven growth and miniscule gains if it happens haphazardly. We always get the greatest return by focusing our effort to grow on those areas where our natural ability (what we do well) intersects with our natural affinity (what we love to do).
2) Partnership: Decide to Add Value to Others Before Expecting Value from Others
When you make a habit of helping others reach their goals, then they will eventually help you attain your own aims. Young leaders eagerly scout out the road to success, searching for the quickest way to climb the ladder to the top. More seasoned leaders spend their energy building ladders instead of scaling them. Instead of wondering, “how can I excel?” they ask: “how can I help others to win?” On life’s journey, you’ll always go faster alone, but you will inevitably go farther in partnership with others.
3) Leadership: Decide to Add Value to Leaders Who Will Multiply Your Value Through Others
As undemocratic as it sounds, the best leaders invest their time unequally, favoring those with greater leadership aptitude. Investing your energies into non-leaders is like pumping water into a reservoir; it pools up and is prevented from going anywhere else. However, pouring yourself into leaders is like channeling water into a river; what you add is carried onward and can provide nourishment several miles downstream.
Thoughts to Ponder:
What are your natural strengths and how are you growing them?
Who are you serving and how are you helping them to succeed?
Who are you equipping and with whom do they have influence?