Another Monday, and another start to the week is upon us. If you’re anything you like me, you might find yourself running around a little crazy between soccer games, baseball fields, and dance practice. Oh, and keeping up with laundry, chores and (hopefully) working somewhere in between. The weekends are gone in a flash, and it’s time to get down to business again. When schedules get hectic, it’s easy to miss things.
Usually the ‘extras’ that never seem to fit into the schedule, are those things needed to grow as a leader. Maybe you decided at the beginning of this year that you wanted to work on your listening skills, or perhaps your presentation and speaking skills. Maybe you decided to prioritize key relationships and how to be more intentional in building those in your inner circle. How’s it going?
So many of us have a tendency to over-commit with our schedules. The first to get eliminated are our own very important goals; those goals that – if we prioritized – would deliver infinite value and impact both personally and professionally..
From here, we begin to face the same challenges we have faced before (because we’re not making time to improve) and then we can start to feel even worse for falling short. That’s how easy it is to get derailed from our goals. However, recognizing this one simple truth is a great way to bring us right back to reality: You will NEVER find time to improve your results. With anything. Never. There will never come a moment when you have all kinds of free time to dedicate to personal and professional improvement. Accept it and embrace it. Now, let’s revisit your goals and key priorities.
What is the BIGGEST challenge or opportunity you’re facing this year, and what is your plan for addressing it? Here are some suggestions:
Enroll an accountability partner or mentor (or a few). Explain the specific behaviors you are trying to avoid (or adopt) and proactively and regularly solicit feedback.
Participate in a training class, seminar or event.
Hire a coach to expedite your progress and keep you accountable.
Seek out peer groups and mastermind groups of people that are also driven and goal-oriented who share a similar vision.
If you type in self-help, self-improvement or personal/professional development in a Google search, you will probably end up with over a billion results. Sure, you can download a book to read…but what are you going to DO with it? Most of us need some level of accountability. If you’re an avid reader, I applaud you. I just want to nudge you a little more to not only read and learn but also to implement. That’s where change happens.
At a minimum, I encourage you to pay attention to the people around you…those whom you admire, those who’ve perhaps achieved exactly what it is that you want. Seek them out and set up a time to meet for coffee and pick their brain. What is that he or she did to get better? I can assure you that those who achieve success are very strategic and intentional about it. That’s the real key.
How can you spend some time this week dedicated to your own success? One of the best ways is to just begin to have a conversation with someone that you know like and trust. The simple act of having a conversation can give you the clarity you need to see what’s missing for you and the best path to get better.
Successful leaders, entrepreneurs and professionals leave behind many clues: They make time to develop, and they do so regularly. They intentionally seek out people who are smarter than themselves to challenge their own paradigms. And they hang out with people that are going in the same direction so that when life happens, there is built-in accountability…because no one does anything great alone.