Before reading further, answer a short question…
What is one challenge in your life that you’ve wanted to change for a long time. Stop. Think of an answer to that question and then read on.
Good news: it doesn’t matter if the challenge is macro or micro… It doesn’t matter if the problem has been around a long time or is relatively new… It doesn’t even matter if the problem is complex or simple. Ultimately leadership is about changing behavior. This week we get to work on ourselves before we attempt to help others.
Earlier today, before writing this blog, I made a presentation to some outstanding business leaders. The subject of my talk was “The Toughest Leadership Challenge That You Will Ever Face.” To identify that challenge, all we have to do is to look in the mirror! But then what?
Here are three rock solid steps to take in this exact order.
First, the internal step: you must choose to believe that you can make a difference. Trust me, you can. You can make a difference in your home, and you most certainly will in your life. But if you don’t believe you can, then you won’t.
Second, start small. Are you a disorganized person that needs to get life under control? Start small. Organize one drawer in your desk or your bedroom. Just one. Keep it organized for one week. At some point every single day, make certain that one drawer is organized. Keep it that way for one week. Then organize the next drawer. Start early, or stay up late, but keep the drawer straight. You don’t need to change your mind; you need to change your behavior! All the research shows that happens best a little at a time. Need to exercise? Start with a deliberate 5 minute walk everyday… you see where I’m going. Start small.
You don’t need to change your mind; you need to change your behavior! CLICK TO TWEET
Third, accountability is your friend. You can be accountable to yourself or to someone else. If you want to be accountable to yourself, access a simple calendar on your phone or on paper. If the drawer was organized today, put a “Y” (yes) on today’s date. If it wasn’t, put an “N” on the calendar. Or choose a person that will encourage you but won’t ever shame you.
Granted, organizing a drawer is a very small change.
You didn’t solve any world problems, but for you and your sphere of influence, you did something better. You changed your behavior. You’re now in positive growth mode, and you’re on your way to becoming a world changer.
The longest journey starts with but a single step. Most people will cry about the fact that they never made it to their goal. Research reveals that most people will never change. But you will! You chose to believe you could, to take a small step and to be accountable. That’s where you start your leadership journey!
The Bottom Line: Choose a very small step that you are willing to take. What is one area over which you will take full responsibility? Leave a comment below. I’ll go first.
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