Leadership Thoughts


How the Sucker’s Choice is Hindering Your Progress

Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it. ~ Andre Gide


This past week I was thinking about when I submitted the title for my dissertation topic for approval and it was rejected faster than the ink could dry.  I proposed, “The Sucker’s Choice: Healthcare or Education?  How the black community decides”.

A sucker’s choice presents itself when you are forced to choose between two options that aren’t reasonable and leave very little room for feelings of accomplishment.  Healthcare AND education are necessary to survive in this world but we’ve been led to believe we can only choose one due to the cost of fixing both at the same time.

In grade school the bully would present me with the following option; “I can take your lunch today or I can take it tomorrow.  The choice is yours!”  Under normal circumstances I don’t want the bully to take my lunch either day but feeling helpless I actually spent time thinking about which day I would prefer to go hungry!

That’s a sucker’s choice if I have ever seen one!  I chose the black community for my dissertation because of my relationship to it but honestly, I could have chosen any community comprised of any race.  Perhaps I should change the title to; “The Sucker’s Choice: Be Liked or Be Respected: How we impede our own leadership journey.”


My challenge to you this week is to identify at least one sucker’s choice that may be hindering your progress.  Perhaps you force yourself to choose between keeping your mouth shut or staying miserable in your job.  Maybe you wake up every day and choose between staying financially broke or postponing the payment of bills.  Better yet, maybe your behavior highlights to the rest of us that you’re struggling with a decision to either be a leader or a follower (when both are possible and maybe even necessary).

The irony is that as adults we would never allow another person to bully us but we have very little answers when we appear to be bullying ourselves.

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