You know the expression.

You see their brows furrow as their face cringes in utter confusion.

You see their eyes brighten as their face opens in complete wonder.

You look in the mirror, and you see fatigue and dullness in your eyes.

You look in the mirror, and you see enthusiasm and energy deep inside.

Very different scenarios… Which do you see more often in your interactions and in your introspections?

Essential Questions.

The key questions are:

  • How often are we making choices that amaze vs. maze?
  • How often are we making decisions that amaze vs. maze?

The answers may shed light on how well our life is unfolding and how well our leadership practices are working.

Living & Leading - Amaze or Maze?

The Maze Distinction.

Off-Track Choices. When we make confused, muddled, or unclear choices, we get off-track. We lose our context in which we are living. We lose the framework in which we are trying to lead. The person envisioned in this quadrant is truly in a maze, not knowing which direction to take and always getting stuck in a dead end. When others are involved, the negative impact spreads and worsens.

Disjointed Decisions. We make decisions, and they change all too frequently. One day, we are going this way and, then, the next day means a different direction. There is little connection between steps, other than sporadic routes. Little positive momentum is maintained.

The Amazing Distinction.

Purposeful Choices. Making choices based on an inner purpose and in serving others enable lives to come truly alive. It is about flow. It is about living a life that matters and facilitating an example that enlivens others. As a leader, it is about making choices in strategy and setting the context to why certain work is required.

Empowering Decisions. When decisions are made to free others to make their own, they are empowered. When decisions are made to clear the paths, positive steps forward are taken. Decisions enable a strategy, so making ones to continue the momentum forward from Point A to Point B are simply energizing.

The Test. Living and Leading.

It may be challenging to test where we are, other than this:

  • For leaders, when you look at the people around you, what do you see? Do you see excitement and eagerness to work and embrace the defined purpose and strategy? Do you see weariness and uncertainty of what is coming next? It is a necessary visual leadership test.
  • For life, when you look inside your soul, what do you see? Do you feel the spirited outlook on life? Do you feel worn down and negative on what lies ahead? It is a necessary inner soul test on how we are doing in living a life of meaning.

As we look at the matrix above, we need to assess how often we feel we are on the right hand side versus the left. We need to lead to amaze the people around us with what is possible in our work. We need to live to amaze our spirit with continued energy and enthusiasm on the positive impact we can have.

The difference between maze and amaze is a choice, a decision. Our mission needs to be to make choices to amaze and decisions to empower.

What keeps your direction inspired?