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A Thrilling Ride – Leadership is a Choice #7

Christopher Avery Posted by Christopher Avery, CEO, Partnerwerks, Inc..

Author of Teamwork Is An Individual Skill: Getting Your Work Done When Sharing Responsibility


A Thrilling Ride – Leadership is a Choice #7

Jessica Soroky continues her series Leadership is a Choice.

Click, click, click.

Head tilted back, staring up at the sky as it seems to grow closer and closer with every click of the metal chain below.

The anticipation grows almost unbearable. When will the clicks stop? I have to be at the top of this extremely high hill by now. All I can do is grip the harness as tight as possible convincing myself that if something goes wrong it will be my grip on this strap that will save me.

For what seems like an eternity I sit teetering at the top waiting for the weight of the rest of the car to pull me forward crashing toward the ground. It’s at the top, for that split second, that the world looks the most clear. It looks different, things that used to be large seem small, and the things that used to seem massive now seem within reach. If I reach my hand out I could feel a cloud on my fingers.

Whhhooooooooosssshhhhhhh.

My stomach gets left behind at the top of the hill as the rest of my body speeds down the track, narrowly avoiding collision with the pavement.

For someone who is terrified of roller coasters and hates the feeling of losing my stomach, this is horrible, almost unbearable. I only make it through because just ahead the vision of another hill to climb leads to relief that for even a split second I will be at the top of the hill again, completely free.

The roller coaster of personal responsibility is even more thrilling than the best and tallest ride in any of the world’s amusement parks.

The best part is that there is no waiting in line. When you are ready to get on the ride all you have to do is choose and just like magic a seat becomes available.

The first hill is definitely the scariest. Climbing that hill for me took a long time. With each click of the track I learned more about The Leadership Gift Program™, more about myself and, to my surprise, more about the programming I had been completely unaware of.

There were plenty of moments of excitement and many, many moments of fear and struggle to get to the top of my first hill. Only a few weeks ago I wrote about the freedom I have found, and how good it feels to allow myself to be proud of the human I am. I am perfect.

It was here, at this place of complete acceptance of who I am, that I felt and saw my entire world shift. It didn’t feel like I could touch a cloud with my fingers, it felt as if I was walking on one. The most powerful, absolutely amazing part of this freedom was the realization that I created it. I chose it, and I could continue to choose it.

I chose it for weeks; I would even argue that those weeks were the most successful weeks I’ve ever had.

Even though I was aware that I chose and created that momentum, the roller coaster took over and in one day I felt as if I was crashing to the ground. I lost my stomach and fell well below the line. Ok, so if I’m being honest with myself there isn’t really a roller coaster. Just as I had chosen freedom and power I was now choosing to be in a mindset of blame, shame, and quit.

Just like a real roller coaster, there was a single moment of time where I could see that I was about to rush to the ground. I became aware of what I was doing to myself. I paused and claimed the win of awareness.

Instead of dwelling on where I was I made the choice to not respond, not until I reached the top of the next hill (responsibility).

Sitting back, aware of what mental state I was in, I got distracted by the beautiful spring sky outside, full of puffy white clouds. Instantly I remembered the freedom I had experienced riding a roller coaster and sitting at the top imagining I could run my hands through a cloud.

Well, s**t!

I don’t have to be in a mindset below the line. On this roller coaster ride I am the passenger, the track, and the operator controlling the speed. I don’t have to wait to climb the next hill; I can simply choose to be at the top again.

Choice and the power of the mind is what makes this personal responsibility ride all the more thrilling.

Jessica Soroky, CSM

Jessica is a Certified Scrum Master with over three years of practice in agile delivery and seven years of team leadership. She is also the youngest participant in The Leadership Gift™ Program and its growing worldwide community of leaders and coaches. After five years of non-profit development through Nellie’s Catwalk for Kids, Jessica continues her leadership journey in state government, not-for-profit, and private sector leadership studies.

 

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