Leadership: You can have your cake and eat it too.

I've always wondered about the author who came up with the proverb, "You can't have your cake and eat it too," picturing them as a rigid, disciplinarian who believed deprivation and cynicism were the levers to motivation.  Think about it, why would anyone want a cake if they can't eat it? It sounds agonizing. 

Sure, I can buy into the idea that once you've eaten your cake it's gone, but is it really? In essence it's never gone because you can savor the experience for a life-time.

Needless to say I'm a fan of having your cake and eating it too.  What if Gandhi asked for non-violent civil disobedience without expecting independence for India? Or if Maya Angelou settled for just being a poet and forwent being a civil rights activist, a dancer, film producer, television producer, playwright, film director, author, actress, professor?   The world would be a smaller place because of it.    

My business partner puts it this way,  “When you dream, dream big, so when you get what you want you don’t end up saying, 'I wish I would have asked for more'.”  The best leaders are those who ask for more, who dream BIG, big enough to never have regrets, expect grand things, and enable others to make it happen.   No small endeavor, I know. It took Gumball five years to claim that we can 'do good, have fun AND be rich' simultaneously. That is, we can liberate ourselves, leaders and slaves with levity while being outrageously profitable. 

It is an audacious mission, but we don't want to be rich and then wish we would had done more good for the world.  We don't want to do good but then wish we had had more fun.  We want to eat that cake we've built and NEVER look back wishing we would have asked for more.

As a leader, you've already taken on the remarkable challenge of being a leader, so congratulations for that.  Now...........are you dreaming big enough? Can you truly say at the end of the day you asked for the totality of what you truly want?  I invite you ..........have that cake and eat it too!

- Ann Michael, CEO, GumballEnterprises