Micah True, also known as Caballo Blanco was an ultra-runner made “famous” in Christopher McDougall’s best-selling book, “Born to Run”. When Micah took people running with him in the Copper Canyons of Mexico, before the run he’d have them put up their right hands and repeat this oath:
“If I get hurt, lost, or die, it’s my own damn fault. Amen”
I was reminded of this a couple weeks back as I toed the starting line for the Born to Run 50K. We all had to swear the oath just before the starting gun. I reflected on the oath for more than a few miles (I had the time). Micah’s oath is not just for trail runners. It’s for leaders.
We own our reality. Our experience is determined (most of the time) by our choices. This is true in life and it’s true at work. As leaders we do not get to play victim. We do not get to say, “If only…, then I could…” We have to know what result we want and what experience we want and make the choices that will create our desired experience and deliver our desired results. If we don’t have what we want, it’s our own damn fault. If my people aren’t engaged, I own that. If my people aren’t performing, I own that. If my relationships with my boss, my peers, or my employees are strained or stressed, I own that.
We have a choice. Every day. Embrace the question. What will you do to change your experience and get the results you want? You can’t change anyone else. If you change how you engage the moment you’re in and the people you’re engaged with, you begin to change your reality. If you don’t, well, at least you know whose fault it is.