‘What a leader walks past, they endorse’ – leadership maxim
Every day we pass by situations. Do we take the time to understand? Do we take the time to make the changes necessary? Great Change Agents do.
Don’t Let Life Pass By
The busyness of our lives presents a common threat that we let life pass us. There is always a meeting to attend. There is always another message on our phone. There is always work to help you to avoid the real work of life.
If you want to look away or even not be there, there are plenty of opportunities to avoid the work of leadership and change. At the same time in a networked world, we have far greater awareness of what is going on and a far better chance to engage with others.
Change starts when you engage. Change begins when you make an effort to understand and start a real dialogue about what is going on. You can’t do this on a pass through. You can’t do this holding your phone up to check a message.
Time is a one-way street. Every moment of potential engagement you let go is not coming back. That moment becomes a lost moment of influence. Worst of all others may interpret you failure to engage to mean that you either don’t care or actively endorse the very things you would like to change.
Impact the Small Moments
Many leaders let things pass because they are small, insignificant or uncommon. After all, we can’t expect a leader with an important agenda to spend their time over the trivial. However, it is the smallest things that send the loud signals of importance. Surprising effort is the clearest signal of change.
Engage on every moment that can help influence your change. Shift your attention to those passing moments and give them the whole of your capabilities. Discuss with others why change matters and how it can be made whenever you can.
Many of these moments will be messy, uncertain and failures. Others will scare you. Every one of them will teach you something about your influence and your potential.
Life is an aggregation of small moments. Influence builds. Capability grows. Trust grows. If you wait patiently for the perfect moment you will find in that moment you lack the influence and the capability to make the changes you need.
All of Life
Practise engaging at work. Practise engaging at home. Reach out and engage with friends, connections and strangers. Your small acts can make a big difference to the lives of others. Don’t let the people most important to your potential pass by.