For many leaders today, organisational life is like being a hamster on a wheel. We are working extremely hard but we are getting nowhere fast! We make promises with good intentions but then don’t deliver on these. This hits the results we achieve and the personal brand we are looking to create. Let’s look at how we can start to solve this.
Let me tell you why my work is so important to me and why I believe in it so passionately. 20 years ago, I had secured a management position with a start-up financial services organisation. This was a real opportunity for me to propel my career forward. No matter what I was asked to do, I said ‘yes’. I was trying to please everyone and get it all done. Because I said yes to everything, deliverables started to mount up, I was missing deadlines. I was well intentioned, I had made a lot promises but then other things would happen that got in my way. So, when I didn’t do what I said I would, it started to wear on me. It hit my confidence and my personal brand. It really effected the results and outputs that I was trying to achieve. I started to feel under pressure, my capabilities started to erode. I began to doubt myself.
I eventually ended up out of work with stress. When I went back to work, my confidence was not on the floor, it was in the foundations of the building. I was put working with an external consultant, Dave Kellogg, a straight talker from New York. Not long after, I was still angry, low in confidence and was still blaming other people for what had happened to me. Dave took me a side and said in fairly blunt terms.
“Mark, there are two steps you need to take to turn this around for you, (as I was in a pretty low place I was all ear). The first step is ACCEPTANCE. You need to accept the situation even if it’s not the situation you had hoped for”.
Through Dave’s guidance, I realized that only by accepting full ownership of my past and present behaviour that had contributed to my current circumstances could I hope to improve my future situation.
He said, “The second step is RESPONSIBILITY, once you accept your situation, you need to take responsibility for making things better, even if other people are involved, no one else is going to do it for you. It’s up to you to make things better”.
I had to learn the hard way that nothing in my life would be different unless I become different.
Your challenge this week: what situation are you currently annoyed about, are blaming others that you need to accept and take responsibility for changing it?