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Leadership Thought #410 – 22 Things You Could Do Wrong Today

October 19, 2012

Free Woman in Black Long-sleeved Shirt Stock Photo

We are all a work in progress and sometimes get things wrong. We also know that life is about our habits and behaviors.  All time represents a series of moments and actions stitched together that only exist in the present.  We can reflect on what we have done in the past, think about what we may do in the future, but we can only ever control now.  Part of my job is observation.  Sadly, my best case study is often myself when it comes to areas of needed improvement.  I never cease to amaze myself with what I consciously do wrong and regret later although I am getting better.  I am also certain my human experience isn’t unique.  You may also catch yourself doing some of the following wrong things over the course of any given day:

  1. Eating something you know isn’t good for you;
  2. Drinking too much caffeine or alcohol;
  3. Not exercising enough or at all;
  4. Not allowing enough time for sleep;
  5. Doing something dangerous or reckless behind the wheel of a car;
  6. Attempting to multi-task and prioritizing your tasks badly;
  7. Not really listening to what someone else has to say;
  8. Missing a deadline at work or home that you agreed to and/or set yourself;
  9. Not allowing yourself enough time to do something well;
  10. Avoiding doing something necessary that you just don’t like doing;
  11. Spend too much time in front of the TV watching something of no real discernible value;
  12. Getting annoyed at something inconsequential;
  13. Being impolite or exhibiting bad manners;
  14. Closing your mind to an alternative point of view;
  15. Rushing to judgment about someone or something you don’t know well enough to judge;
  16. Deciding without enough facts or understanding of the situation;
  17. Treating attractive people better than everyone else just because of the way they look;
  18. Buying something you really don’t need;
  19. Lying or not telling someone how you honestly feel;
  20. Saying yes when you should say no;
  21. Being unaware of or unthoughtful about your body language and tone of voice;
  22. Blaming a mistake or misstep on someone or something else.

As with all things, awareness is the first step.  I encourage you to print out and take this list with you and put it in your briefcase, purse, or wallet.  I also like to tape it to my desk and put it in my glove compartment.  Briefly review it several times throughout the course of the day.    When you knowingly do something on the list put a check mark next to it as close to the occurrence as possible.  At the end of the week see how many check marks you have, and which items are your biggest weaknesses.  Rethink how you could have handled the situation differently.  No rationalizations are allowed.  Over time you will notice that the number of check marks will go down markedly.  Don’t strive for perfection, just incremental daily improvement.  After a month I guarantee you will notice a substantial difference in how you feel and how others are responding to you.