Lead Like it Matters…Because it Does
Written By: Roxi Hewertson, SLS Partner
In my book, Lead Like it Matters…Because it Does (McGraw-Hill October 2014), I share 8 Leadership Insights. These eight “ahas” are overarching understandings that have significantly shaped the ways, in which I teach, coach, write, speak, and live leadership in my work. I believe they are foundational in understanding the work each of us must do to lead well – at home and at work.
Insight #1: Knowing is the Easy Part. Doing is the Hard Part.
The other seven insights are driven by #1. Some of the best-intended and least effective leaders I have known, regularly read books on leadership and even more articles. They often know the buzz and the jargon, the latest trend in strategic planning, and the best way to build a new organizational chart.
Retaining this plethora of information in your brain is one thing. Integrating what you learn into your behaviors and actions and making it real for you and those you lead is a much bigger challenge. Why? Because changing our behaviors is one of the most difficult feats known to humankind. There will be days you might think it would be easier to jump across the Grand Canyon! Unlike jumping the Grand Canyon, changing behaviors is possible.
To do anything new or difficult, you must be truly motivated, and you must know exactly what you want to change. You need to identify what success looks like for you – not someone else’s definition, but your definition. You also need to develop an ongoing focus, along with built-in reliable sources of feedback about your progress.
Once you combine knowing and doing, you are well on your way. Don’t give up on something that matters to you. You can expect to slip and fall. You will screw up. I don’t know anyone who rode a bike perfectly the first time. It’s also important to celebrate your progress, because each step, no matter how small, gets you closer to your goal.
Applying INSIGHT #1:
Knowing is the easy part. Doing is the hard part.
PRACTICE! Choose ONE thing you know you need to improve, change, enhance – not 14 things – just ONE.
MAKE A PLAN. Write down a list of things that will help you be successful. What
resources and/or support do you need? How can you get those resources and support? What could derail you and how will you overcome those things?
VISUALIZE. Make time for quiet moments – without email, cell phones, TV, radio, and other people – yes – make time to be ALONE to imagine, see, and feel the change you want to have actually happened. Be it.
PRACTICE! Don’t let any side trips or missteps stop you. Keep at it. If one way doesn’t work, try another.
Do you have a leadership role in your community? Are you looking to improve your leadership skills? We would love to hear from you!