When I am bored with TV and having hundreds of channels with nothing to watch, I fire up the AppleTV and go to Vimeo. That habit has given me two videos that I think about often – one for a guy now called Slomo and another chronicling the challenges of Formula 1 driver Alex Zanardi. I can remember watching each and just smiling. It was a smile not based on something being funny (although Slomo reminded me of a friend of mine), but more on the fact that two individuals made a choice to chart a different future – one on their own and one because circumstances forced a change. It was a smile celebrating a choice made and the inspirational story that resulted.
A foundation of professional development at any level is based on a similar choice. It is hard to see that choice when we dislike our boss, worry about the debt that needs a paycheck to support it, or are scared of not having a keycard to enter the building you have been going to for a decade. It is also hard when like our team or the praise that comes from having the same customers that know us and love us. I preach the lines great conversations start with a question and when we have honest conversations that lead to thoughtful actions, the result is improved performance. Three questions that come to mind when I think of these videos are:
- What are my choices?
- How do I want to be remembered?
- What matters to me?
Here is a link to my 5 Tips for Managing Your Career and Performance – and the number one is Own It. If you know someone (or maybe someone that works for you) struggling with their next step, please pass this on. The caveat I am adding is that most Own It outcomes don’t mean rollerblades on the strand in LA. More often it means some different projects, a bigger smile at work, or finding more balance between work and life outside of work. I call these pivots, and whether big or small, they all start at the same point – ownership.
Living into choice is simple, but rarely easy.
Do What You Love.