The Illusion of Choice
Really effective leaders help people overcome what's called the "illusion of choice".
Younger generations tend to have a false sense of control, because they've been raised to believe that they can do whatever they want. And that's just not the case. It's not the way life (or business) works.
The fact is, if somebody wants to be really good, if they want to advance in the career, they don't have a lot of choices. It takes what it takes!
In the illusion of choice, this false sense of control, leads people down the wrong path.
Marketing people know that if you give consumers too many choices, they tend to freeze. So, that's why they have limited product offerings. And a good leader is going to take the same approach.
You want to offer choices, but you want to narrow their choices. The research shows that people feel better about any decision when they've had limited choices. And when they have too many choices they tend to regret whatever decision they made.
So here's a good way to simplify people's choices - focus on their goals!
There's somebody somewhere that's doing what that person wants to do, and it's called a role model. And good role models are “blueprints” for success. They've made a series of choices that are worth that person considering. They're in the office more, they take on extra tasks, and they lean into discomfort. Whatever the case, that role model did what it took.
In hindsight, it's not real complicated. If you want to be really good, if you want to excel, you don't have many choices because it's going to take what it takes.
Success is a process, it's not an outcome, and the process is made up of a bunch of little daily choices that are really very limited.
If you want to just get by, if average is okay, you've got all the choices in the world. But for high performers, the choice is usually pretty clear.
So help your people manage their illusion of choice. They'll be happier and more successful, and so will you!