People on the sidewalk

The following is a message I read from a friend of mine, Tim Davis, from Nashville. I’ll admit I have shamelessly (with Tim’s knowledge and permission) used what he has written. I’ve also added or edited a few phrases you, my readers will more readily connect with.

It is WELL WORTH your consideration, so please read on…

Here’s a concept: Personal responsibility and ownership for your life – that includes your thoughts, attitude, words and actions. Most people have a pretty clear idea of what they consider success, but have zero, and I mean zero, clue about the sacrifice, discipline and investment required to get what they say they want.

As James Allen wrote way back in 1902 in As A Man Thinketh, “Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves.”

I’ve coached all kinds of leaders and I know this about the highly successful ones…they are disciplined and focused. They don’t issue excuses. They consistently produce results. Change the rules and they still find a way to win. They act quickly because they know success favors speed of implementation.

Average leaders ask “How much it will cost me?” and highly successful leaders ask “How much will it develop me and add to my skill as a leader?” In other words, the successful leaders wonder what their return on investment will be rather than what temporary pleasure they will have to give up to pay for it.

Too many people can tell you more about American Idol or the statistics of their favorite sports team than they can tell you about the vision they have for their life, department, division or company and how they plan to achieve it.

Great leaders will ask, “What does it take?” The answer is “all you got and then some”. And they’ll give what is required.

The root cause of just about every problem is self-inflicted – not investing in your own development as a leader. Digesting too much junk, particularly information junk and stuff that just doesn’t really matter, and not enough relevant knowledge and wisdom.

Jesus said to the man at the pool of Bethesda…”pick up your mat and walk”. That man had 30 plus years of excuses until that moment. Then everything about his life changed.

Maybe, just maybe, it’s time to decide to pick up your mat and walk too. Or as Nike said years ago, “Just Do It”.

During a summer in high school, I had a job that required me to take a train at 5:45am. If I missed that train, I’d be late. There were times I missed the train and instead of being late, I incurred the SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER cost of taking a taxi. This result seriously ate into the money I was saving for other things.

Why did I do this? Simply because other people were counting on me to show up on time and do the job I was hired to do. I don’t say this to brag, but rather to say no one is interested in excuses, like I overslept or missed the train.

Have you been around people who tell you the government will take care of you…yeah right…please don’t buy into that lie. YOU take care of you. Pick up your mat and walk.

Napoleon Hill said the foundation of all success is desire. A deep burning desire. Absent that, success is fleeting in any area of life.

The only true lasting change happens because of self-awareness and reflection. Experience is not the best teacher; evaluated experience is the best teacher. The easy question to ask is “what do you want?” It’s also the most difficult to answer because that answer requires a payment…one that too many are unwilling to pay.

Self-awareness only happens when you are willing to ask yourself deep and difficult questions – and take the time and make the effort to answer them. If you are not willing to ask (or be asked by a highly qualified coach), how can you expect to achieve the success and accomplishment you’ve dreamed about?

So what about you? Do you have the personal accountability to fully own your results as a leader? If you find yourself blaming circumstances such as government regulation, high prices or higher taxes, changing technology, a challenging economy, or any other situation outside of your control, this is a sign that you are not taking personal accountability.

You see, excuses demonstrate what you believe about how your results are created. If the beliefs are focused on outside circumstances, you would do well to ask how such beliefs were created (hint, most likely NOT by you) and if such beliefs are serving you well today.

I’m here to help you examine those beliefs and ask you the deep and difficult questions. Be assured, these questions are not to be confused with psychotherapy – something I am definitely not qualified to offer.

Many of my clients who have had the courage and stamina to do this have experienced significant changes in the results they produce – not because of anything I said, but rather because of the questions they were willing to think into and their commitment to do something with the answers they received.

Best regards,

PS, Please feel free to share this with others you believe will be interested. If you do, please let me know who they are so I may consider including them in future emails on leadership topics.