One Choice that Informs All Others


Unable to choose is unable to move. Choices enable movement. Unable to choose is another way of saying stuck. Successful leaders make decisions.

Everyone who’s stuck
lives with choices waiting to be made.

Fear of choosing is fear of losing opportunity.

Fear of missing out is the reason you miss out.

The critical first choice:

The choice that informs all others is who to be not what to do.

First choices enable action.

Choosing what do before deciding who to be means you’ve caved to external pressure.

Answer “what to do questions” by clarifying who you want to be. What to do is an event. Who to be guides the journey.

First choices involve who to be.
Second choices explain what to do.

First choices are relatively easy. But, if you’re not sure who to be, ask, “How do I want to be known?”


Identity off-sets external pressure with internal strength. Success demands you become bigger than challenges. The only way to be bigger than challenges is to know who you are.


Choosing “what to do” before “who to be” means you’re pushed around by circumstances and activities.

Identity determines function.


Chill out. Life changing choices are often insignificant and unplanned. For example, Jay Elliot stopped at a diner after a new job fell through. At the diner he met Steve Jobs. Jay became a Sr. VP at Apple. Stopping for something to eat changed his life.

Chill out. Most choices aren’t final they can be unmade.

Four decision making tips:

  1. Choose forward-leaning. Avoid the comfort of going back.
  2. Identify real problems/challenges. Keep asking, “Why.”
  3. Connect with people of experience and expertise.
  4. Focus on what can be done. Any fool can find reasons things won’t work.

What decision-making tips can you add?

How can leaders choose who to be?