For me, the recent funeral of our late monarch brought leadership into sharp focus as well as the kind of legacy we are each going to leave with our own lives. Leading well and leaving the right kind of legacy will require having to make a certain number of tough calls. The Queen had to make a number of her own, I’m sure. Making a difficult decision costs time, your full attention and it might even cost you financially in professional advice. However,
“If something costs you your peace it’s too expensive.”
I remember the first time I heard this saying, and it has helped to make difficult choices as clear as daylight… I’ve made some BIG calls in my life and one day I’ll share more about some of them.
Clare and myself, throughout our twenty one years of marriage, have had to make calls that have been purpose led and we’ve had to do the right thing when it would have been easier to close our eyes, put our fingers in our eyes and carry on.
Whilst working on the core values for Twelve (our group of companies) with our team, integrity came up for discussion. Now, integrity might sound a bit boring but to be honest, even having to list integrity as a core value indicates just how morally corrupt the world has become.
Back in 2001, I was one week from concluding a deal that would have resulted in me leading a marketing agency. However, this company, unfortunately, was involved in marketing more products that would have ended people’s lives rather than celebrating them. My own core values had become so shot that I had not really questioned the implications of what I was about to take on. Thankfully, my then girlfriend (who became my wife), asked me what on earth I thought I was doing? Was this really me? The REAL question she was asking me was, ‘Why wasn’t I choosing to run after something bigger, ie. my purpose?’
You see, doing the right thing requires action. When your integrity is at stake, you have to choose peace every time. Don’t ignore what your conscience is telling you, a lack of peace is the reason to change and change everything.
Don’t stick with a setup that you are fundamentally unhappy with in order to ‘protect the greater good’… (Hot Fuzz fans will get it). If you haven’t seen the film ‘Hot Fuzz’, it’s about a village in which the local dignitaries were interested in winning ‘Village of the Year’ by taking out anyone who didn’t fit. They could even justify murder in order to maintain a perfect track record for the unsuspecting judges…everything was done in the name of the ‘greater good’.
Sometimes you have to leave to follow purpose and protect your peace, you might not even be able to say goodbye properly. When you are faced with betraying your conscience and values ‘for the greater good’, don’t do it. Stay true to your values, because it’s the right thing to do both morally and spiritually, for yourself, and most importantly, for those that you love.
Values make you valuable, and compromising them in exchange for an easier life is soul destroying, ultimately robbing others of the best version of you. I’m so glad that I know who I am now and ‘going with the flow’ was not, and never will be, my jam.
There is so much power in knowing your values. Clare and I are trying to teach our kids to have the right set of values and to live them out. Home schooling means that we can spend a lot of time with them and really influence them. I loved that about the Queen. She was someone who knew what she stood for and lived it out. (As an aside, our late Queen was one of the greatest adverts for home schooling I ever saw. She had a home tutor.)
Character is something that is often quoted but not often lived.
So here our my five ‘big call rules’:
The thing that distracts us most from being true to our purpose is getting caught up in comparison. Make calls based on your progress in line with your purpose. YOU are responsible for YOUR life. Comparing ourselves with others leads to unnecessarily competing in areas that you were never supposed to compete in.
The greatest thing you can do to bring pace into your life is to be brave. Too many people waste years waiting for permission from situations and circumstance. Honestly, the right time to take action is yesterday and the second best option is today. Brave moves require decisive calls which in turn create clarity.
As you continue to build you have to keep one eye on the plans. Keep one eye on your ‘Why?’ As in ‘Why’ you started the journey in the first place. It’s possible to get a bit lost when circumstances shout louder than the vision you are carrying in your heart. Going back to the original plans gives you the conviction you need to overturn those circumstances in your favour.
Have the strength to consult with people who don’t see life the way you do. If you are of a more creative persuasion then invite more analytical people into your circle. They can still buy into your vision even though their voice might sound different to yours. You want to avoid echo chambers and provide a safe place to express ideas. Challenging your own ideas will enable you to collaboratively decide the best course of action with a more rounded perspective.
Prove you are right
Honestly, it is not about showing other people, it is about showing you. The best person you can be is better than the one your were yesterday. When you make the call, settle it in your heart that there is no going back. Why would you? When you listen to your heart and make the right call you’ll feel the benefits over time, you just have to learn to follow it. Years on, I’m less concerned with worrying about what others think as the vision I have doesn’t have room for people who want to control and limit it. The true vision builders discuss ideas rather than other people and that makes all the difference.
Make the difficult calls, you will have to follow what makes sense in your heart even when your head is still asking questions. Then, what you will be left with is peace. Peace is precious and powerful and, if you have it, you can help others to find it too.
As for the dream stealers, the ‘can’t be done-rs’, the discouragers and the ‘crab bucket’ dwellers, their day will come. Until then, let me show you the power of peace and a life of legacy.
Don’t miss out on a world of opportunities.
Join us for the launch of Introbiz Bristol on 27/10/22 from 4pm to 6pm at Lexus Bristol. book your tickets now at: https://introbiz.co.uk/networking-event/introbiz-bristol-launch-event