Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Only Way to Grow

Photo by Leo Reynolds

Where to Begin?

At some point in their journey, most growing leaders and managers feel overwhelmed. There is so much to learn, so many good ideas, so many areas that need attention...

And only one of you.

Good News

Let's begin with the good news: You can't do it all at once.

So let go of that internal pressure on yourself. There's no sense holding yourself to an impossible standard. Even worse, if you do, you will paralyze yourself or limit your credibility by frantically running around in a vain attempt to be everything simultaneously.

Start Small

Effective leaders and managers manage their own development by focusing on the power of habit.

Our brains aren't able to intensely focus on many different tasks at once. For instance, you are unlikely to succeed in casting vision, creating clear expectations, and encouraging everyone on your team if you are intensely focused on learning and implementing all three.

To overcome this limitation, pick just one thing and practice it regularly until it becomes a habit.

For example: Want to work on encouraging others?  Practice saying thank you and recognizing values-in-action at least three times every day. Once thanking and encouraging others becomes a habit, then you're ready to tackle another item.

It Takes Time

Effective leadership is not built overnight. As we build productive habits we will face challenges that throw us off our game. Be patient with yourself and when you get distracted, go back to your habit - start small and pick one way you can exercise that habit today.

You Can Do This!

Begin small.

Begin today.

You can do this. I know you can.

David M. Dye

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Twitter: @davidmdye
David shares twenty years experience teaching, coaching, leading, and managing in youth service, education advocacy, city governance, and faith-based nonprofits. He currently serves as Chief Operating Officer for Colorado UpLift and enjoys helping others discover and realize their own potential.

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