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The Paradox of Choice


I'm a huge fan of 19th and 20th century literature and authors. Some of my favorite writers were Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Langston Hughes, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau and Robert Frost. I've had the privilege of visiting the crumbled site of Thoreau's cabin on the shores of Walden Pond in Concord Massachusetts in the fall of 1999. Unfortunately I was about 6 weeks too late to catch the New England fall foliage, so all I got was naked trees with a few brown leaves hopelessly clinging until the next powerful gust of wind blew them free. I'm also inspired by the Harlem Renaissance, art, music, fashion, literature and passion of Blacks taking pride, ownership, and identity to create change for that time period.


You might be asking what does this have to do with choice? Well I believe to fully understand a person you must know who has that persons ear. Who has been teaching or mentoring the person? When we open our mouths to speak we tell people who we are, who has been influencing us, what experiences have we had and are we capable to add value and bring solutions to a problem. Are we solutions oriented or simply too focused on the problem? Is there room for any grey to allow for a story to be told that can possibly bring forth a solution? Leaders have to make decisions everyday, and these decisions can have a impact on the organization, customers, and employees. When we as leaders fail to effectively communicate the vison, or the path ahead many can easily be left confused, in the dark and customers can lose faith in the company's ability to provide adequate services.


Whether you own a business, are a church/community leader, or middle manager in a organization, how effective are your leadership and communication skills? Are you driving results, are your employees enthusiastic with the direction of the company, and are your customers satisfied with the services you provide? Are you the first to listen and the last to speak? Do you already have your plan ready to execute, or are you tapping your employees who may have insight that can change outcomes that you are getting? Do you have a coach or mentor? Who has your ear? Choices or decisions we all have them to make and as Frost would say in the Road Not Taken "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference".

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