We all have choices….

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But do we master their use?

I spent some time last week with one of Australia’s great leaders, Brigadier Mark Smethurst.

Mark has just retired from the military after an outstanding career (Mark’s Bio).

He’s also just been appointed the Commissioner of NSW State Emergency Services (SES Appointment). A great role for him to continue to keep us all safe!

Mark is an amazing leader, and a great Australian who is recognised on the global stage.

One of the things Mark and I were working on was how leaders make choices in terms of their mindset and behaviour.

The big idea is as follows:

  • We all have personal and professional choices we need to make every day
  • And the biggest choices we have is our attitude and mindset
  • We can choose to panic, be protective, or to stay open and assertive
  • We can choose to be negative, or look for opportunities and go after them
  • Leaders MASTER the choices they make
  • They choose to think positively
  • They avoid being duplicitous
  • They consider their actions and behaviour and lead by example
  • And with people
  • They treat them with relentless respect, regardless of history

All great stuff and highly aspirational and rational!

But how do you go about doing this?

Well, we developed some techniques to assist. Here they are:

Know your personal values intimately – measure every choice against your personal values (you know, the ones that came from your family, your upbringing, your community). So many choices are made subconsciously that you need to be really clear on your values so that you choose approaches consistent with those values.

Be aware of the consequences of your choices – not every choice needs to be made right now, notwithstanding mindset choices are often emotional. Take time to consider the outcomes of your choices. A choice may have a small impact today, but big impacts over time. Other choices can have more immediate consequences. Just don’t throw caution to the wind as each choice starts a trajectory….

Ask a friend! – It’s not just a slogan for a TV show. Choices can be overwhelming. Get some advice from someone independent of the situation. Make your own call but take the time to consult.

Make choices automatic by forming habits – Habits streamline the process reducing the thought process. They can therefore help create sustainable good choices. To create a habit often means changing a habit and that takes willpower, character, & practice.

See every day as a fresh start – Making repeated bad choices can feel depressing and get you down. As Churchill said, “Never give in! Never give in! Never give in!”. Every day is opportunity to start afresh. Learn a lesson and get back on and begin again.

Mark is an awesome example of someone who makes great choices.

We all can be….

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