#15 Rap Lyric That Shaped My Leadership Style

For the background of this list – see my original post from 2-10-12.

This week’s Rap Lyric comes from Eminem protege Curtis James Jackson III, or as he’s more popularly known – 50 Cent (or do you write that as $.50) off his 2005 album The Massacre.  50 Cent became the first artist in Billboard history to have 3 Singles in the Top 5 at one time with this album – but not one of those 3 gave us this weeks Lyric!   From his song – In My Hood, here is the Lyric:

“Now you can be a victim, or you can lock and load.”

The concept of “being a victim” has shaped my leadership perspective in an enormous way.  If you haven’t got a chance to read the book “The Oz Principle” you need to – it’s a heavy read – but I ensure you will not be a victim ever again, in business, after reading it!

So what does “being a victim” mean in business?

Being stuck in the “victim cycle” or “being a victim” really means you’re stuck in the blame game.  “I’m not successful because my boss doesn’t allow me to me.”  “I can’t finish the project because I don’t have enough resources.”  “I can’t do my work because other people don’t do their work.” Etc.   To rise above this victim cycle means to take control of your destiny – you see it, you own it, you solve it, you do it.  No excuses, no blame, no finger-pointing.

In HR it’s so easy on a daily basis to be a “victim”.   “Well, we don’t control that decision” or “They won’t give us the budget to do it the “right” way.”   We are given so many outs each and every day – to make it not be our fault.  But our organizations and our employees need for us to set an example that is different.  One that says – “It doesn’t matter – we’ll make it work anyway” or “I’ve got your back, we can do this!”  It’s not easy and I’m the first to admit I can’t do it every day, every time – but I sure try.

I surround myself with non-victims – it’s who I want on my team.  I don’t want to here – “I can’t” – I want to hear “I can”.  You can do anything in business when you have people who all support each other, want the best for each other and have a belief that no matter what – we’ll get it done.  That’s my team.


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