Change now, daydream later

Excellent post (here) on Harvard Business Online by Marshall Goldsmith that tries to answer the question: “What prevents us from making the changes we know will make us more effective leaders?”  His answer is based on follow-ups with participants in Goldsmith’s leadership development courses:

At the end of my sessions, I ask leaders (who have received 360-degree feedback) to follow up with their co-workers and ask for ongoing ideas about how they can continue to become more effective. A year later, about 70% do some version of this recommended follow-up (as reported by their co-workers, not by them); 30% do absolutely nothing.

Why this happens is very familiar to me: my desire to change is side-tracked by procrastination.  The root cause of that procrastination is my desire to have all things in order — aka, perfectionism — before starting the change. 

I have learned a hard lesson trying to help real people change real behavior in the real world. The ‘couple of weeks’ that you are fantasizing about are not going to happen. Look at the trend line. There is a good chance that tomorrow is going to be even crazier than today!

If you want to make real change, ask yourself this tough question: What am I willing to change now? Not ‘in a few months.’ Not ‘when I get caught up.’ Now.  

Read the post and follow the links…


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