ue bot icon

Daily Leadership Thought #190 – Be The Change You Want To See…

August 9, 2011

Free Woman in White Crew Neck T-Shirt with Blue Text Stock Photo

We all have the power to change our lives and the world around us for the better.

When asked to provide criticism of what is not working in their organization, most people can provide a litany of complaints and problems.  There seems to be no shortage of opinions on how things should or could be better.  This doesn’t just take place in the business world.  It is a facet of everyday life.   For some reason, despite our relative wealth, comfort and prosperity compared to previous generations, most of us still see things for what they are not, rather than being thankful for what they are.  This is evident in the cottage industry that has become the self-help movement.  I can’t even count anymore the number of people I meet who admit to being “lost” and/or unhappy with their status quo existence.

The problem with deficit thinking is that it stunts your perspective.  Instead of allowing you to see the world full of possibility and opportunity (which it is), you begin to define yourself and circumstances in smaller ways than necessary.   When you are a collection of individuals, as all organizations are, this mindset becomes even more problematic.  Just imagine how much positive energy and creativity seeps out of businesses every day.  We also all know what this also does to families.

When you look to others to solve your problems and make you happy, you are already at a disadvantage.  You end up forfeiting control of your own destiny and hope that someone else will make your issues a priority.  Even the best-intentioned leaders, colleagues, spouses, and friends will only ever get an incomplete grade in this regard.  They will often do their best and work hard at it, but they are not you and cannot always read your mind and anticipate your needs.

Accountability for your success and happiness starts with you.  Only you can control your attitude and reaction to what life throws at you.  We have heard it many times before, but “one person’s problem is another’s opportunity.”   Every day we get to make a choice.  Do we become a force for positive change and make the best of our circumstances?  On the other hand, do we become a malcontent and have little to show for our efforts except for further disappointment and angst?  Obstacles and adversity will always be with us.  It is an unpleasant fact.

There are no perfect leaders, organizations, marriages, or friendships.  They are all a work in progress.  No one lives a perfectly charmed life devoid of difficulty.  The question is and always will be, “what are you going to do about it?”    Do not succumb to the chronic disappointment and victim mentality of the masses.  Be the change you want to see in the world and yourself.  Take full responsibility for your career, relationships, and life.   Everyone can tell you why things don’t or won’t work out.  Few of us tackle these issues head-on and change things for the better.