Take It Upon Yourself to Better the Situation
Leaders Create the Change They Want to See
There’s one main thing that separates a true leader from a regular person: they’re proactive. When leaders come across a suboptimal situation, they take it upon themselves to make it better. Most people will wait for someone else to fix things, thinking it’s not their job – but true-born leaders believe in the change they want to see, and then become it. How do you react when you see something being done in a not-so-great way? When you see a piece of trash on the sidewalk, do you pick it up and put it in the can as you walk by? Or do you leave it there? What about in your day-to-day life? If you could change something, what would it be? How would you do it better? Have you proposed that or implemented it yourself? If not, what’s holding you back?
There are 3 things that generally stop people from creating positive change:
- Apathy. People make the mistake of thinking that the change they make won’t matter. They’re afraid their contribution won’t be big enough in the grand scheme of things. That’s just not true. Evil succeeds in the world when good does nothing, so don’t become apathetic. We need everyone out there working to make this world a little better. Think about how amazing things would be if we all set out to make one positive change. Leaders lead, and you can set a great example by working to better your environment, so get out there and get started!
- Impatience. People are too often looking for instant gratification, but change doesn’t happen overnight. You have to make a choice and stick with it. If you do something consistently, you will be rewarded, but you have to get the momentum going first. Maybe the change you want won’t happen at your current job, but will happen at the next one. Just because it didn’t work before, doesn’t mean it won’t work later down the line. Be patient and keep at it!
- Negativity. Oftentimes, the difference between action and inaction comes down to a positive versus a negative attitude. When I’m dealing with a very capable employee with a negative attitude, I try to put some new thoughts in their head. A phrase as simple as “What if things got better,” can really do the trick. Vision boards, visualizations, and meditating can also be helpful. That said, actions speak louder than words, so it can be really helpful to show them what’s possible by demonstrating small wins. It may take several months, but you can start changing minds.
At the end of the day, taking it upon yourself to better a situation is all about follow-through. You can talk until you’re blue in the face about how much better something would be if it were different, but you have to put your money where your mouth is. To use another idiom, the proof is in the pudding – and you have to make the darn pudding! Sometimes your ideas don’t work, but you have to move forward with the assumption they will. I like to say: I don’t deal in the impossible, I deal in the improbable. It helps me move forward with a positive attitude– and oftentimes I end up getting the improbable done.
“Take it Upon Yourself to Better the Situation” is one of the five heroic leadership skills in my FREE e-book, the Five Heroic Leadership Skills! If you’re ready to take it upon yourself to better your situation, reach out to me for 1-on-1 coaching!