Did you choose to live this way?

Who leads your life?

I mean who is in the lead in the life that you are living?

Is it you?

Too many of us get stuck in the rut of other people’s expectations or on the hamster wheel of debt/expense driven work.  But what do you choose?

I am not advocating a permanent beach holiday, far from it, what I am asking is, if you truly believed that you had a choice and had the courage to pursue it;  What would you be doing?  Who would you be doing with? How would you be doing it?

Conformity and obedience used to be the way ahead, they used to be the way up the greasy career pole.  Increasingly this is no longer the case.

We are living through increasingly turbulent and competitive times and those in power are realising that they do not know enough of the answers and that controlling people is no longer delivering the desired results.

What is becoming clear is that the only way to continue to succeed is to empower everyone, to create a culture of responsibility, a culture of passion, a culture of community.   To encourage and empower people do what they believe to be important, what matters to them and have the results flow from that.

Just look at UK retailers over Christmas – the outstanding success was John Lewis – a partnership, where everyone who works actually does own part of the business and feels responsible for it’s success.

Unless we feel fulfilled in our work we will not do great work.  The way to feel motivated ourselves and to do the best possible work is for us feel in control of our lives and to be doing something that matters, to us, with it.  The way to motivate a workforce is for everyone to feel in control of their lives and to be doing something that matters to them, with it.  The way to turn that into business success is to make sure that what matters to the people who work with or for you is aligned with your business objectives.

Businesses do not need to be structured as a partnership (like John Lewis) to give people a sense of ownership, they just need to let people lead their lives and do what is important to them and make sure there is alignment with the business intentions.  It is up to the leaders of the business to create a culture of responsibility and aligned purpose and from that success will flow.

For more inspiration on the subject of free will and the courage to take personal responsibility for leading your life, watch The Adjustment Bureau – it is brilliant!

with love


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With love


Neil Crofts
authentic business
+34 646391384
Skype – neilcrofts

About Neil Crofts

Writer, coach and consultant on authentic business and authentic leadership. Neil has inspired and motivated hundreds organisations and thousands of individuals to their highest potential. Neil has written three published books and numerous e-books. Neil is a coach, facilitator and consultant helping people and businesses find their authentic purpose and use it to inspire and motivate them to be everything that they can be. Neil has raced cars, been self-employed, run a company and sold it, been employed by large companies, experienced growth and contraction at the heart of the dotcom boom, tried changing companies from the inside and from the outside as European Head of Strategy at internet consultancy/rock band Razorfish. Neil has been independent for over 10 years and delivered his Authentic Leadership message to a diverse range of business audiences including people at BP, Shell, Microsoft, Kraft Foods, MSN, Jamie Oliver, South Gloucestershire Council, National Blood Transfusion Service, KaosPilots Business School, Fashion company By Malene Birger, German technology company Eleven.
This entry was posted in authenticity, coaching and training, Leadership, personal development. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Did you choose to live this way?

  1. Steve Prior says:

    Hi Neil

    I agree whole heartedly with your thoughts and ideas on working and feeling involved with a sense of spirit and community.

    A partnership or co-operative model is in my view the only way forward. Everyone has a stake in everyone else.

    Unfortunately the old ideas around duality separate us, make us individual and ultimately make us selfish even if we don’t want to be. One could argue that to be an individual is authentic but in reality it isn’t because of a system of scarcity.

    There are too few jobs being chased by too many people who have to put up or shut up.

    A debt based society becomes slaved to the system which is incredibly hard to escape.

    There is no freedom of choice.

    I have an ongoing debate with the school my children both go to. They had instigated a system where children were being kept away from playtime and were applying this as a form of teaching.

    In essence, a child who made an error with their writing (missing a capital letter or a full stop) were kept away from play a minute for each transgression. In at least one case this meant that children were kept outside against a wall whilst others were playing.

    A letter the executive head teacher sent my said that we could take our children to another school.

    The reality is though that we can only really take them to another school who operate inside the same system. We can’t afford to home teach and can’t afford a private school.

    So, lack of choice is a reality for most people.

    I would agree that getting paid to do a job without a real passion is like living without a real life. I suspect the employees and employers don’t like it either but it is a current reality.

    Warmest regards


  2. Neil Crofts says:

    The intriguing bit is that although “The Matrix”, remains, by far, the dominant model there are pockets of change happening – even in major corporates. I work with one, who are doing genuinely cutting edge work in leadership empowerment and their responsibility to empower others. It is amazing and inspiring work to do and will be fascinating to see where it goes.

    It is seriously depressing to hear your story about school, that they are still fundamentally teaching kids obedience and conformity rather than individual brilliance and potential. Well done for challenging them, don’t give up. We constantly tell our kids we are on their side when it comes to school and when they come to us with concerns about the school we always follow up and challenge the school. I am sure you do the same.

    • Steve Prior says:

      Hello Neil

      Thanks for responding.

      There was a time when all I saw was profit and marketing. Such a simple concept really… which has been blown apart over the years as I have delved deeper into the way things really are and then looked at the way things could be.

      The vision of the way things could be when compared with the way things are does create a type of positive tension. It pulls us towards a new and better vision.

      As for the School, the quick answer is that we (my wife and I) do challenge and ask hard questions.

      I do take heart that the road ahead is a tad bumpy but is worth going down. I have learned by observation, asking hard questions, which has in turn created new understandings and the possibilities of new ways of being.

      May be we could have a chat at some point?

      Warmest regards


  3. Andrew Gray says:

    Hi Neil
    Great blog post, as usual! I thought you might be interested to know that I am developing a specialism around employee ownership, for all the reasons you mention and more.
    Here is a blog post that I have done on the subject, which sums up the reasons for this (and uses the angle of providing an alternative exit route option for business owners, which is often the best hook to get the interested): http://www.kandh.co.uk/home-news/an-alternative-exit-strategy-employee-ownership/

  4. Pingback: A culture of community | Robyn Peel Consultancy

  5. Kathy says:

    Hi Neil,
    I completely agree with you about needing to have the courage to find work that motivates and inspires you from the inside out. Unfortunately I think most people are so entrenched in the idea of scarcity that they are afraid they have to put up with horrible jobs or horrible people in order to make a living. Not true in my life. I discovered a long time ago that we get pretty much what we expect AND that not being courageous and taking chances is the worst thing we can do. In fact, my most recent blog post is about embracing failure as a path to a successful life 🙂 Check it out if you have time! http://smartliving365.com Again, great post and I look forward to many more! –Kathy

  6. frances4lifeskills says:

    Keep the articles and book coming Neil and lets keep the movement of change filling up more pockets.

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