When Vice President of HR, Halima McWilliams shared her story and perspective about the importance to “Opt In” to the conversation of diversity in the workplace on Life in the Leadership Lane podcast episode 40, it was an epiphany! I thought about when we see something that we want, we can choose to subscribe to stay connected to the information because we enjoy it or want to be a part of something that will help us get better in our every day. She didn’t say everyone is going to be part of it, she said people could “choose” to opt in! When we get to make the choice, we value it more! However, there are times when we find ourselves opting out or hitting the “unsubscribe” button as well because we didn’t sign up for it or want to be part of the group, the conversation, the new project, job changes, relationships, etc.… and that’s okay. It’s our choice! We are all in a different season and there can be many reasons why we decide not to opt in such as “we already have this product or service” or “I don’t have any time right now” or “this just doesn’t add any additional value for me”.
How many times do you find yourself subscribing to a new newsletter or blog? Do you unsubscribe more than you subscribe because someone included you on their mailing list? I enjoy subscribing to something new because it gives me energy knowing it will add value in my career. I also find myself unsubscribing to things that doesn’t add value – which can be annoying and draining to go through the process.
Leadership is a choice too… It’s a choice for all of us to “opt in” … it’s our choice every day! It doesn’t matter if you are in HR, Sales, Customer Service, Project Manager, Finance, Payroll, Administrative, fill in the blank… We have the choice to lead every day starting with leading ourselves!
One of the things I appreciate about my guests that appear on Life in the Leadership Lane is when they “opt in” to share their stories. Stories energize us and I always find myself wanting to know more about other people and their story. Where did they grow up, how did they get started in their career and what energizes them? They are always fascinating and often validate or provide reflection for us on our journey. I have found it is very common to find leaders that have enjoyed success to be in a totally different place than they originally planned. In fact, many people will say something like “I fell into this role” or industry”. Like a lot of people, I also fell into my career serving others in relocation. I started on the bowling lanes working with my mom and dad before I moved to Texas to begin a long career in the relocation lanes. I was enjoying my role a young manager, but wanted to make a change to get more in alignment with who I wanted to be as a husband, father, and career. When I decided to make a change, I “opted in” to conversations with others to help guide me on my path. It was challenging because it was not only about leadership in my career, but with my family, and more importantly with myself.
Over the years, I have opted into many conversations about changes in my career, in my volunteer roles, and more. I haven’t always subscribed to a change, but I have always opted in to the conversation about leading. I always wanted to be “in the conversation”. I remember wanting to lead at a very early age when I decided to run for student council president in the 7th grade. In my early 20’s I was asked to be President of the Southwest Bowling Proprietors association, and in my 40’s I was leading our relocation association along with 3rd largest SHRM chapter in the US. I opted in early to be part of something bigger which created some special moments and highlights, and has also led to some incredible challenges too.
When we opt in, we are saying I’m interested in hearing more, seeing if this will add value and if so, I am all in. If not, we can choose to opt out. You see when we give value, we will be valued by sharing with others. However, if we don’t at least choose to opt in to hear about the opportunity, we will never know what value we can bring, and be more in the workplace and in our community.
So, what are you going to OPT IN this week? Is it start a conversation about something stirring your heart, start a new blog, join a new association, fill out a volunteer application, sign up to be a speaker, apply for a new job, ask for a new role, ask for a raise, attend a zoom invite, join a book club, make a call, make a new connection?
Hit the subscribe button and opt in to drive in the leadership lane and make a difference for someone on your journey! I can’t wait to hear all about the choice you made!
Quote of the Day: “Give more value to be more valued.” Bruce Waller
Call to Action: Opt in to something new this week, or something you have been thinking about but holding back for some reason. Are you opting in more or opting out? Track how many times you subscribe and unsubscribe this month. It’s your choice!
This has been A Relocation Minute on “opt in” with Bruce Waller, for more information, call