Remarkable Choices!

Freedom U.S. Flag

Here is a post I wrote on my main blog this morning:

Today we in the United States celebrate the 231st anniversary of our Declaration of Independence. In essence, we celebrate our freedom. While declaring independence, the 56 signers of that document were, at the same time, declaring their interdependence to each other.

This paradox is not unlike the one we face in our organizations today. People want to be independent – able to make decisions and chart their career course, and yet there is more interdependence than ever – to team members, job sharing partners, collaborators, global partners and much more.

I believe the great message for us in this day, outside of pride and patriotism is not about independence, but about freedom. The freedom to choose.

The greatest freedoms afforded to citizens of the United States are the freedoms to choose, including choices like where and how to worship, where to live, what to say and what to think. It is from these freedoms that much of our national power and influence have arisen.

We can take this lesson to our organizations. Offer greater freedom. Give people more choices, offer more options. If as a leader you feel this will create chaos, you are correct at one level – some times things in the United States are a bit chaotic! But just as with my country – when the goals and objectives are clear – whether it is healing an area torn by disaster, helping friends in need, or consolidating our hearts and minds behind any cause – that freedom of choice creates creative solutions, greater engagement and fantastic results.

In our organizations we must have a clear mission – a purpose for existing that motivates and inspires those within. With this clear purpose, offering great freedom of choice won’t create greater chaos – it will create create greater results.

 I thought I would expand on it here, just a bit, from the perspective of a remarkable leader.

 As a leader we have choices to make too.  Have we (or will we) create that clear future picture of a goal or purpose?  Do we choose to keep it in the hearts and minds of our team? 

And perhaps on a more practical, daily level:

  • Do we choose to be quiet and let the opinions and ideas of others be heard?
  • Do we allow people the freedom to make choices about when and how they do their work?
  • Do we allow for individual preferences and working styles as well as individual talents?

I could go on, but this list should give you plenty to reflect on to start.  The bottom line is that we have choices to make as leaders, and those choices will signifiacantly impact how much choice those we lead have (and feel they have).

Provide them with a greater range of choices and you begin to tap into their remarkable talents, ideas and energy.  Don’t , and risk complaceny, low energy and high turnover.

It’s your choice.

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