GLS21 Notes: Only You Can Choose

Published August 5, 2021

Everywhere we work—our businesses, our churches, our nonprofits—give each one of us choices every day. They put before us difficult situations in which we must decide how to move forward.

In her talk at The Global Leadership Summit, Ibukun Awosika shared her own experiences as a leader in a very challenging ethical environment to explore how understanding who you are, your purpose and value system is the only way to walk steady in the shifting sand of culture. Her talk gave us insights on how we might gain this kind of integrity and strength as we lead through an uncertain future to create a world where everyone can thrive. Only you can choose who you want to be.

Enjoy these official session notes to help you dive deeper into what you learned! 

Ibukun Awosika


 Only You Can Choose
    • As a people, we have the power of choice. We get to choose who we are, what we become and what we do.
    • Only you, ultimately, make the choice. Every choice you make every day has consequences.
    • Only You Can Choose: How far you want to go in life > How you want to accomplish your life goals > How you want to impact society > What value system will guide your journey.
    • I made two choices: (1) I would never sleep with a man to get a job; (2) I would never pay a bribe to get a job.
    • To thyself be true!
    • We look at the mirror every day. What do you see? What is covering up your real view of you? What are the inner thoughts, ambitions, that you have that you cannot express because you are trying to conform to other’s views?
    • At the center of each of us is a core. The core of who you are should not be destroyed or replaced by being a wife or mother. For men, it is the same.
    • What is key to understanding how to able to make the right choices for ourselves?
Reflective Exercise
    • Where are you right now? (In the context of your ambition for your life)
    • Who do you think you are?
    • Where do you think you are going? You can’t get to somewhere if you don’t know where you are going. Are you on a journey that will take you to where you really want to go?
    • Bonus Question: How do you picture your life at 70? 80? 90? What do you want your legacy to be? How do you want your life to end? If you have a picture of how you want to finish, you can go back and do an analysis about where you are and where you want to be. It’s about living more deliberately and intentionally, rather than accidentally.
    • There are follower-leaders. Leaders without vision, just following along. What is your vision?
    • Yesterday may be gone, but it’s not too late as long as there is a today or tomorrow.
Making the Right Choice
    • Your choice is driven by your values, goals and your ambitions.
    • If you don’t have an agenda set, you don’t know why which choice is best for you.
    • There are many moments in time when you find yourself at a crossroads. How do you make decisions at that time?
    • Do you consider common good or just personal good?
    • Common good always turns out to be personal good. When communities work good, they work for everyone.
    • How do you take the right decisions? What guides those decisions? What is the backbone of the value system?
    • Faith as a backbone for our value system
Gandhi’s Seven Social Sins
    • The list: wealth without work; pleasure without conscience; knowledge without character; commerce without morality; science without humanity; religion without sacrifice; politics without principle.
    • Be a man of character, civility, diligence. Let your handshake be good.
    • Bottom line is good for all businesses. But bottom line at any cost is not good for anyone.
    • Love your neighbor as yourself. We must be able to behave in a way that we can actually reach our neighbor.
    • We play corporate politics. It’s a short-term game. It always falls apart.
    • 8th added by Ghandi’s Grandson: Rights without responsibility
    • When we build a better world, it will come into our home, better corporate organizations, communities.
    • Too much plus too little equals enough.


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