As a Leader Do You Know Where Your Mouse Is?

Susan S Freeman Blog

leaderAre you a leader who is drawn to seeing possibilities others don’t see? 

Do you question the status quo and wonder “why not?”     I coach entrepreneurial leaders, founders and CEO’s who constantly live in this question.  One of them gifted me with a book that she found provocative, and I did too.

It’s called “I Moved Your Cheese:  For Those Who Refuse to Live as Mice in Someone Else’s Maze”, by Deepak Malhotra.  In Goodreads, the author states: Top of Form”Over a decade ago the bestselling business fable “Who Moved My Cheese?” offered its answer to this question: accept that change is inevitable and beyond your control, don’t waste your time wondering why things are the way they are, keep your head down and start looking for the cheese.

But success in the areas of innovation, entrepreneurship, creativity, leadership, and business growth—as well as personal growth—depends on the ability to push the boundaries, reshape the environment, and play by a different set of rules: our own. With that in mind, Harvard Business School professor Deepak Malhotra offers a radically different answer to this question.

Malhotra tells an inspiring story about three unique and adventurous mice—Max, Big, and Zed—who refuse to accept their reality as given. As we watch their lives unfold and intersect, we discover that instead of just blindly chasing after the cheese, each of us has the ability to escape the maze or even reconfigure it to our liking.

In the face of established practices, traditional ideas, scarce resources, and the powerful demands or expectations of others, we often underestimate our ability to control our own destiny and overcome the constraints we face—or think we face. I Moved Your Cheese reminds us that we can create the new circumstances and realities we want, but first we must discard the often deeply ingrained notion that we are nothing more than mice in someone else’s maze. As Zed explains, “You see, Max, the problem is not that the mouse is in the maze, but that the maze is in the mouse.”

The ability to radically change our perspective is one of the greatest results obtained from coaching.  This book shows, through a fable, that re-ordering our perspective may be the most profound and impactful work we ever do.

I invite you to post your comments here.  If you want to engage in radical perspective shifting in 2017, I invite you to contact me. Perhaps the cheese won’t move, but you certainly will.

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