Posts tagged Ownership
Plausible deniability

If we're honest, we've all sought it out. It's a tantalizing proposition. The offer of plausible deniability is direct access to feelings of safety, preserving the status quo, and self-promotion.

Those are desirable feelings. They're also far from free because the exchange of plausible deniability is less and less ownership.

That's a tough pill to swallow for those of us interested in doing remarkable work. The work of a linchpin professional is continuously moving in the direction of more and more ownership of the work. Not less.

With ownership comes opportunities for generosity, possibility, self-discovery, and yes, remarkability. To access these though we must be willing to set aside the allure of plausible deniability.

If it's remarkable work, remarkable relationships, remarkable lives that we're after then the decision awaiting us is this:

Bravely choose responsibility over deniability.


Ideally, we'd agree.

Ideally, everything would go the way we planned it.

Ideally, everyone would want the same things we want.

Ideally, we’d have all the info.

Ideally, nothing would go wrong.

Ideally, everyone would always act rationally. 

But then, of course, we'd all be the same, and I think the world would be a much more drab and colorless place. 

The world doesn't work this way. We don't always agree. Surprises happen. Things do go wrong. What an opportunity we have, on each occasion, to decide for ourselves how we want to show up in the world. 

It's tempting for us to give our power here over to the circumstances, or others who acted wrongly, or our fear. The truth is - our decisions are ours to own; what a gift.

So, yes, things are hardly ideal. Now, how do we choose to show up?

What would you do if you weren't thinking about the response?

It’s a reality — the responses people have affect us.

Sometimes that impact happens before we even act, before they have a chance to respond. The anticipation can be enough for us to alter the way we show up.

What happens then is that our decisions begin to look a lot more like a carefully curated choreography than a series of choices that reflect reality, truth, and perhaps most of all, our true selves.

We’ll never be able to control others’ response. We can always control how we show up.

If it’s important, there’s time.

If there’s no time, it’s not important.

It is a simple equation to determine what really matters to us.

Time is solid. It will always be solid. To think differently is to rob rob ourselves of responsibility, and with responsibility, the possibility to make a difference for ourselves.

If it matters, today is your chance to find the time.

Photo by Ales Krivec on Unsplash
Waiting for space

If we put off prioritizing our important work until there’s space in our calendar to tackle it, we’re unlikely to find the space.

If we delay our important work until our urgent list is empty, we shouldn’t be surprised if that day never comes.

There will always be something ‘urgent’ asking for our time and greedily taking as much of it as we’ll give. And there will always be plenty of ways our calendar will fill itself up all on its own.

Autonomy is ours until we give it away. Doing so is the work of amateurs. We are professionals. And so we decide.

On purpose. With intent. For ourselves.

Photo by Manasvita S on Unsplash
Posture first

With Christmas Day tomorrow and 2019 right around the corner, this time of year tends to lend itself to reflection and looking ahead. And so begins the annual process of determining our New Years Resolutions.

I think we’ve probably all found this tradition to be a bit waning at times, haven’t we? At best it’s unreliable. Many, many assertions could be made as to why that’s the case. Rather than spending our time unpacking those assertions, what if we simply tried something different this year?

Forget the grand, detailed resolutions. This year what if we focused on this:


Own our choices.

Decide with conviction.

Act with intent.

The resolutions and goals will come. Let’s focus on the posture.

Photo by Sean Estergaard on Unsplash
Quality, and…

At another time in history, it’s quite possible that we might have been the only shop in town that provides our particular service. And at those points in time, doing a quality job would have been enough.

It’s doubtful that we’re the only act in town now.

Also, being ‘in town’ isn’t the advantage it once was.

All of this to say it’s almost certainly not enough to merely do a good job.

Quality work is an expectation. Now that that’s out of the way, we can get down to the real work of deciding what’s going to make us different.

Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash
We’re going to get frustrated.

It’s inevitable. Accidents happen. Surprises happen. Unexpected outcomes happen. Conflict (the non-hostile kind) is often born out of these things. Frustration usually isn’t far behind.

It’s not bad to be frustrated. And it’s certainly not wrong. More accurately, it’s natural.

If we think it’s bad, that’s because we’re connecting our frustration to our response to being frustrated. Most likely what we’ve found is the fear lurking within us. Our natural reaction when frustrated is to act out of this fear. And acting out of fear rarely produces a result we’re proud of.

So we come to see getting frustrated as bad.

But it’s not.

And we’re letting ourselves off the hook.

Because it’s actually our response to our frustration that is bad.

And while being frustrated and our response to being frustrated are related, they don’t have to be connected. Our gift as a human is that we are free to choose how we respond. Always. Frustration included.

As much as responding out of fear is an option, so is responding out of care, kindness, and empathy.

Decision makers

I can’t afford that.

I don’t have enough time.

Work won’t let me.

They wouldn’t like if I did that.

It’s not in the budget.

That’s not how things are done here.

All of these are examples of decisions, made from various frames, with at least one thing in common — we’re allowing something else to make the decision for us. Any one of these things could certainly be true, perhaps all of them are. Even so, wouldn’t you always prefer make the decision because you believe in it, because it’s the right thing to do?

I know I would.

Use these frames if you absolutely must. But as often as possible, let’s decide for ourselves. Getting to decide at all is a gift we enjoy far more frequently than anyone else born at any other time in human history. Let’s show gratitude for that by owning our choices.