Have you ever known someone who, when you look at the work they do or how they live, makes you thing, “Man, they could do or be so much more if they would only… (fill in your favorite fix-it message here)!” Maybe it is a team member at the office, a friend, a child or niece or nephew…it’s frustrating isn’t it, to see their potential and how they are allowing it to wither and die. Or maybe it’s worse than that, they have the talent but they are misdirecting it into “less desirable” pursuits!
As a business coach I’ve had the great fortune to be around many business owners, leaders, founders and entrepreneurs with great ideas and potential that never made it. For one of many reasons their idea was not able to overpower the most limiting Critical Performance Attribute of their business.
See, in spite of the title of this post, the truth is that we…YOU…cannot change another person. You can ask, you can lead, you can influence, you can guilt, and you can pressure…but at the end of the day the decision to change is up to them, not your.
In 2018 my son passed away. He was a few weeks shy of his 30th birthday when his lifestyle choices finally took their toll. In spite of our consistent prodding and pleading to make a change, he refused. For the last few years of his life my greatest worry was not that he would die, I believe I’d already come to terms with that. My greatest fear is that something would happen, he would die alone, and no one would know. His life did not end that way, in fact it ended surrounded by those that loved him most, and for that I’m thankful.
In all my searching for some kind of rationale in the story of his life, I came across this quote from Ghandi, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Typically you see this quote applied in the macro sense…changing the world…and there is definitely an application there, especially in today’s environment of social discord. But it also applies in the micro.
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”Mahatma Gandhi
We all live in our own little world, worlds that overlap with others. And it is at those intersections that we can make a difference. Hopefully, I can make a positive impact from time to time on the place where your world and mine intersect.
When you see that under-performing individual…the one with so much more potential than they are demonstrating… when you catch yourself wishing they would “step up,” instead ask yourself what YOU need to do to step up. Show them what it means to step up. Ask them to step up with you, and when they ask why, tell them it’s how you get ahead in life!
Whether they choose to step up with you or not isn’t up to you, but either way, you’ll be ahead…and that makes YOU a leader!
Every Monday morning Thom issues a challenge to help you grow and improve at your business and your life.
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Thom Rigsby brings more than 25 years of business experience in companies ranging from the Fortune 50 to mom-and-pop operations as well as more than a dozen businesses of his own. He has an active performance coaching practice, audio & video podcasts, and weekly radio program where he shares the key concepts and strategies he has learned on his business journey, helping business owners and leaders focus their efforts, create results, and replace undistinguished results and burnout with a clear plan for stable, sustainable success. A plan worthy of your best and highest potential!