In "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," near the end of the book, Harry is talking with Professor Dumbledore. He's concerned that he might be too much like Tom Riddle (aka Voldemort).
As evidence, he says that the Sorting Hat initially wanted to put him in Slytherin, and only put him in Gryffindor because he wished for it in his head.
Dumbledore hears that, smiles and then explains how that choice by Harry made all the difference in setting him apart: "Exactly," said Dumbledore, beaming once more. "Which makes you very different from Tom Riddle. It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."
Like any leader, or leader in training, Harry learned a valuable lesson in that moment. That, in the end, it's not what we say we believe in that matters, whether it's a vision statement, mission statement or an inspirational saying on our office wall but what we actually CHOOSE.
Yes, we'll all have many choices to make today.
Will we choose to roll our eyes when one of our employees makes a mistake on a report or instead take time to calmly explain what needs to be fixed?
Will we choose to thank someone for working over the weekend to make sure a project stayed on track or just stay silent, thinking "it's part of their job"?
Will we choose to make sure that someone on our team doesn't cancel an important self-development training session they're supposed to take, though it would make it much easier on us if they missed it --- again?
And will we choose to stop in the middle of the chaos, take a breath, and remember that people are watching us, looking to us, as leaders, and will often react the way we do?
Yes, the question, as always, is --- what will we choose?
Because, with each choice, we not only send ripples out into the world, but we further define who we are.
Choose well, my friend.
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