It has been seven years since I have had the pleasure of taking over the leadership of SIG. I have lived and led through a recession, watched 40% of our membership slip away, and watched 220% of our membership grow back. We have watched companies falter and regain their footing and others crumble and fall; we have watched companies grow through acquisition and others be gobbled, but never completely consumed. We have watched leaders come and go and new leaders emerge in places we would never have expected. We have seen people go from one branch to another in the sourcing jungle swinging higher and higher in a quest to reach the spot with the best view while others have swung purposefully downward in search of the village of friendly faces on the lower branches.
Personally I have watched colleagues leave to become parents and seen parents send their kids off to grade school and college. I have friends who have lost loved ones, gone through divorces, been downsized, and had their jobs eliminated. And yet through it all I’ve seen many of these people still emerge as leaders despite the personal tragedies they faced. I have often wondered why some people bounce back and why others can’t find the elasticity in their lives to make a comeback.
Recently I was faced with my own personal challenge, one that could have made me run away and hide or make me find my resiliency. I picked up a book called The Seven Decisions: Understanding the Keys to Personal Success by Andy Andrews and have decided to embrace the “third decision” which he calls the Active Decision. “Beginning today, I will create a new future by creating a new me…I can do nothing about the past. My future is immediate. I will grasp it in both hands and carry it with running feet. When I am faced with the choice of doing nothing or doing something, I will always choose to act! I seize this moment. I choose now.” This is an excerpt from that book. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. While I thought I was embracing all seven decisions, I see this one as the difference between what causes some people to go to the couch and become inert and others to go back out and create the future they want for themselves. This I believe is the difference between success and accepting what life gives us.
So I will leave you with another quote from my favorite chapter: "I am a person of action. I am daring. I am courageous. Fear no longer has a place in my life. For too long, fear has outweighed my desire to make things better for my (business and) family. Never again! I have exposed fear as a vapor, an impostor who never had any power over me in the first place! I do not fear opinion, gossip, or the idle chatter of monkeys for all are the same to me. I do not fear failure for in my life failure is a myth. Failure only exists for the person who quits. I do not quit.
I am courageous. I am a leader. I seize this moment. I choose now.” As I go through my personal challenge I will also continue to try and embrace all seven of the decisions in my everyday life and I challenge you to start adding them to yours.