“Commit to taking total responsibility for everything that happens to you. This one change in thinking has the power to launch you to the world-class level faster than any other single idea.” – Steve Siebold
As all of us around the world continue to deal with disruption to our businesses and our personal lives, it’s easy to get frustrated. It’s easy to throw up your hands or just shut down. It’s easy to convince ourselves that we’re being buried under an avalanche and there’s nothing we can do about it.
Certainly the world – especially today’s world – is full of things we cannot control. Governments, other people, nature, the list goes on and on. But regardless of the particular event or situation, one thing is true. You have to approach every situation like a problem that you can solve.
This is particularly true as a leader. You can’t stand up in front of your people and tell them that you’re sorry, but this situation is out of your control and so whatever happens happens. You can’t get to the office in the morning, sit down in your chair, and wait for things to happen to you. Well, you can, and lots of people do it, but it’s a recipe for disaster.
I’m not suggesting you can control other people’s behavior, or order your competitors to do whatever you want, or change the weather, etc. What I’m suggesting is that you have to approach every situation as one that you have the power to impact positively. You have to think that way and you have to speak that way to those around you.
Think about the bizarre world in which we currently find ourselves. You can’t control government decisions, you can’t control viruses, but you can control how you respond to those kinds of things. How can you and your people work differently? How can you provide things to your customers differently? How can your processes change to keep people safe and effective? How can you communicate more effectively?
You have to pull yourself out of “look at all these bad things that are happening to us” mode and put yourself into “what are we going to do about it” mode. Years ago, a famous general, upon hearing all the accolades his subordinates were heaping on his opponent, said, “I’m sick of hearing about what he’s going to do to us. Start figuring out what you’re going to do to him.”
That’s the perfect attitude for our times. Stop complaining about or obsessing over what the world is doing to you. Start thinking about what you’re going to do to the world. Let’s get to work.