February 13, 2020

How To Use Your Truth To Make Choices

I find myself asking people this question (in relation to their work life):

“What do you want?” 

Few answer that with clarity. Even fewer answer it with conviction. (An exception is the business owners we coach. They tend to know what they want; they are just not sure how to get there.)

Asking “what do you really want?” makes things even more interesting.

Looking back on some events in my own life (and to be clear, I didn’t know this at the time), there were two decisions I made that were really helpful in finding the unique and effective pathway for my work.

There were 2 forks in the road:

1. I felt limited by the academy. 

I have two quick stories to share here…

First story: When I was applying for doctoral work, I actually stated to the admissions office, “I want to be able to write in an applied way rather than a technical way.” In other words, I didn’t want academic pursuits to ruin my ability to communicate and to impact. If you can’t say it to a 10-year old, you might be thinking elegant thoughts but you won’t take a lot of people on a journey with you. (Weird side-note that affirms the above...in my dissertation I had to make sure to quote the program director...often.)

Second story: When I was an adjunct at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, I could have established an academic career. All my classes were waitlisted and I had a momentum of impact on campus. 

The graduating seniors had me speak at their baccalaureate service. Afterward the provost came up to me and let me know how glad they were to have me on staff. I responded, “you don’t.” That was actually my last semester. I had been told that if I wanted to get full professorship I needed “to play the game”. That meant doing research that I didn’t want to do (paying tribute to an ideology) and doing it in a way that I didn’t want to do it in (technical writing over accessible research).

2. I felt limited by the non-profit world. 

Growing up I had learned the ins and outs of what’s referred to as the ministry or the church world. In my 20’s, I was convinced that I could impact change within that world by modernizing. Modernizing alone isn’t sufficient, as I found out. I (and those I was serving) hadn’t been given a history of thinking or processes on how to cope and thrive in the midst of unprecedented societal change. 

Eventually I tried other approaches and, while they looked successful by external measurements, there was still a limit to how far someone could expand their personhood. After all, most people can sacrifice the guiding metaphors and analogies of their lives so many times. Death of your worldview is brutal. Murdering it is almost impossible. Bottom line: If I thought my life was better spent there, I would still be there. 


It would be fun to figure out these forks in the road ahead of time. That’s just not how clarity works. 

You can never anticipate all the unintended consequences. 

Anyone who looks back and says they calculated accurately is just guilty of false causation. 

Honest choices now - that’s the guiding light. You’re becoming someone everyday through your choices. And when you can make choices from your truth rather than traditions and pressures you/others put on yourself, that’s when you are free. 

My freedom occurred years ago upon waking when my right brain was just 1 second ahead of all my left brain faculties. I could hear it, “focus on business leaders”. 

I’ve seen this over and over again. The world moves in, by, and through business as the external reality to the ways in which human societies attempt to pursue what it means to be human. And I get to spend time with business leaders every day of the week who flat out inspire me over and over. They are the 1%. But it’s the 1% who want to grow every day and help everyone around them be better.

IF what it means to be human requires a necessary upgrade for a world we can’t fully comprehend (and I would offer that this is our primary task/joy) it will happen in and through business. Not because of business. Or for business. But in and through business for those who so choose to contribute. 

I’ve been so excited to share a public opportunity for a process we have been guiding business leaders through to TRANSFORM their leaders and OPERATIONALLY achieve predictable growth. When we make it public I’ll let you know. 

Make no mistake: There is freedom...you and your business can have it. It just won’t come through tradition, pressure, or what “they” say you should do. 


Are you ready to TRANSFORM and OPERATIONALIZE your business? 

Contact us at connect@sightshift.com and we can show you how.


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