How many times have we prevented growth because of some deep belief that you can’t do something? Too often we get an ingrained idea that we are not good at something. You could believe you are not good at math. Or you might believe you’re not good at sales. Some people believe they are too shy and introverted to be able to talk to people. The biggest blockage in life comes from YOU. Leadership is about helping others be their best selves and the starts with being YOUR best self.
Every day we are faced with decisions – some large, some small. Life can be hard; the path is not always clear.
Don’t limit yourself because of a past failure. We need to stop thinking to worst of ourselves and start seeing ourselves the way others see us. Through someone else’s eyes, they see your strengths are and awed by the talents and strengths you have.
When I was growing up like many children piano lessons were required. I struggled to learn how to read music, and I didn’t have the hand span to be able to reach all the notes in some chords. I compared myself to my brother who picked it up very easily. Four of us had to rotate practice times and my brother often heard my poor attempts and would come to show me then would take over. I stopped playing for a few years. One summer I decided that I would re-learn. This meant going back to the beginning by relearning how to read the music staff. It was slow going but I was determined that I was going to learn the skill.
When we want to improve at something the first step is choosing to act, then choosing to stick with it. The choices we make define our character, to be an effective leader or co-worker we must have respect. Respect is based on who we are, trustworthiness, and if your actions match your words. You have the power to choose and it is the choices we make that shape us.
The greatest risk you should avoid at all costs is the risk of doing nothing. Making a choice requires taking a chance and the only regret we usually have is the chances we didn’t take.
I met a lawyer who told me that when he was in high school, he skipped classes and didn’t take education seriously. He failed many classes and doesn’t know how he managed to graduate. He took the career placement test and was told he had the aptitude to be a bartender or truck driver. He decided he wasn’t going to let the test and counselor dictate his life. He ended up attending university, and excelled, earning his Law Degree. His message was clear, do not allow others to dictate what you can or cannot do. Follow your passion and take a chance.
I think of Aesop’s fable “The Tortoise and The Hare”. Our culture measures success as a race to the finish line. Like the Hare, we often charge full speed ahead attempting to reach success sooner than the next person. Yet is the slow, methodical plodding of the tortoise that wins the race. The tortoise didn’t let the challenge stop him, he just kept going with a quiet determination and we need to have the same attitude.
In business and life, it is lots of small steps that take you further than one big leap. Leaders need to build trust. When employees know that their supervisors and managers will roll up their sleeves and work beside them it helps strengthen the relationship and builds trust. Working on continuous, incremental improvements promotes growth. Leaders and workers must work together. Take a chance, you never know what might happen.
Change is the only constant in life. Yet we fight change. When we embrace change, we open the door to opportunity.
Change is a process, not an event. Change takes courage. The world is not perfect, our lives are not perfect. Things don’t happen as they should. Good people fail, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try to make things better. If we all try to make our lives, jobs, and the world better a place we will be happier. Remember to celebrate each small step along the path of success.
The best leaders communicate well and make sure that with change the team knows the “why” and not only the “what”. Leaders paint an engaging picture of what the team can expect next.
All great things start with one small step, one choice, one decision that directs you down a path. Remember the 3C’s: Choices, Chances, Changes. You must make a choice to take a chance or your life will never change.
By: Cheryl Viola, Executive Director
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Lafair, S. (2016, August 11). Practice the 3 C’s to be a better leader. Retrieved from https://www.inc.com/sylvia-lafair/practice-the-3-c-s-to-be-a-better-leader.html
Savage, A. (2009, September 6). How to give yourself the best chance of a good life (Part 1). Retrieved from https://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifehack/how-to-give-yourself-the-best-chance-of-a-good-life-part-1.html