Sunday, December 7, 2008

What are you waiting for? Be a participant and take action!

My husband and I were driving back home after a wonderful dinner with friends a couple of weeks ago. As we rode along highway 59, a car sped quickly past us and as it did, it changed lanes. In a matter of seconds, the car lost control, hit the embankment, flipped over and hit the embankment again. It was as if a horrible movie was playing in front of me in slow motion.

Thankfully my husband kept a steady hand on the wheel and kept the careening car in front of us and out of harm's way as it slowed. No other cars were hit by this car that rolled out of control. We were fine.

I immediately called 911. Yet my husband's reaction was "Don't worry about calling, there were other witnesses that will call.

I called anyway.

I tell you this story, not to make myself the hero and my husband the bad guy, but to point out that it is easy to be a bystander as opposed to a participant. There have been countless times in my life when I also chose to be a bystander and "not get involved."

I see how this happens so much in business life. We may see injustice, or we may see things we wish we could change, but we don't do anything. We chose to be a bystander and complain without jumping in to either create a solution or facilitate one. Leaders participate in solutions, regardless of their role. When you take action and participate, it feels good. It feels good because you have taken a stance to make a difference, however small or even regardless of the outcome. Nothing is more dis empowering than being a bystander. Participation is empowerment.

I don't know if my call was the only call to 911 that night or the 50th call. It doesn't matter. All that matters is that I took the action to call. I chose to be a leader and a participant. I felt good about that. I was empowered.

Take some action today and see how it makes you feel.

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