Leadership Design Alliance | Chicago Executive Coaching



Do You Own Your Decision?

Your leadership and performance success is directly related to your state of mind.  While your state of mind may be viewed as a soft influencer in the grand scheme of things, your performance is measurable…and so typically viewed as a hard skill.  Today, brain science is showing the two views are inter-dependent and success is tied to an individual’s ability to succeed when the two are linked.

So to get the best out of yourself and your team, listen to what you say.  What is your “why”?  The answer to this reveals your level of engagement. 

So what motivates you and keeps you engaged? 

Achieving extraordinary success that lasts? 

Feeling heard and part of the team? 

Moving the whole team in the same direction? 

If you want high-level engagement, listen for these words. 

  • I “won’t or can’t”.  Won’t and can’t perpetuate a lost sense of choice and can mean you feel no power to engage with the idea, the project, the person, etc.  How you show up: You are stuck.  You believe that life happens to you and you have no choice.

  •  I “have to”.  This references external expectations and is driven by a short-term perspective.  If I don’t do this, then I will suffer the consequences.  How you show up: You will expend a great deal of energy to muscle your way through situations right in front of you with the hope of success.  Your chance at success?  Maybe a 50% success rate at most, but it will take a lot out of you.

  •  I “need to” expresses responsibility. And while it may not indicate total ownership (or low power in making the decision) it is still mostly one of choice.  How you show up:  You are fully aware of your choices and you seek opportunity in the challenges ahead of you.  While you can be distracted from what will lead to your ultimate success, you are likely to succeed because you see the choice and the opportunity.

  •  In reality the words – “I choose to” – contain the greatest power. How you show up:  You are fully engaged in your own success because you understand you have the choice.  You enjoy your role and feel a powerful connection between who you are and what you do.  You are engaged and will succeed. 

It is important we listen to our own words.  Whether taking on a new project, looking at a deadline, working within your team – take care to notice what words you and your colleagues are using.  When you and your team understand the power of your choices, you will celebrate success…and have fun along the way.




There is this space…stuck inside.  Making it hard to breathe.  Making my heart hurt. It sometimes feels like my very own black hole.  Its name

Read More »


Today I was rummaging through files, seeking some inspiration.  I ran across a document and a memory I would like to share with you. I

Read More »


Leadership Design Alliance


Sign up for our monthly newsletter with your regular dose of motivation, fresh ideas, and useful insights.