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Become a more effective leader by asking 1 tough question

9 years ago | 2713 Views

I have indulged in this daydream for years. In fact, you too may have had this same recurring daydream.

This daydream explains why the participants in my courses don't end up doing what they know they should. It also probably explains why you don't do many things in your life and career that you know you should.

The daydream goes like this:

"I am incredibly busy right now. In fact, I feel as busy as I have ever felt in my life. Sometimes my life feels a little out of control. But I am dealing with some very unique and special challenges right now. I think the worst of this will be over in a few months. Then I am going to take a couple of weeks to get organised, spend some time with my family, start my 'healthy life' programme, and work on personal development."

One tough question

Have you ever had a daydream that vaguely resembles this dream? How long have you been having this same, repetitive dream? Most leaders I meet have been having it for years.

I have learned a hard lesson trying to help real people change real behaviour in the real world. The 'couple of weeks' that you are fantasising about are not going to happen. Look at the trend line. There is a good chance that tomorrow is going to be even crazier than today!

If you want to make real change, ask yourself this tough question: What am I willing to change now? Not 'in a few months.' Not 'when I get caught up.' Now.

Now, take a deep breath. Forget your glorious plans. Accept the craziness of your life. Do what you can do now. Let go of everything else. And make peace with what is.

List the 'personal improvement' activities that you have been 'planning' to do - but have not quite 'got around to' yet.

Challenge yourself on each activity.

Get started on the activity within two weeks - or take it off the list - and quit tormenting yourself.

Useful resources:

Marshall Goldsmith

Dr. Marshall Goldsmith is a world authority in helping successful leaders get even better – by achieving positive, lasting change in behavior: for themselves, their people and their teams. Visit our InfoCentre or website.

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