Learning to Step Up

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Today we are continuing to dive a little deeper into the “3 Questions”. You can read Monday’s exploration of the first question here.

Just for a refresher, when you walk into a room, ask yourself:

  1. What needs to be done?
  2. What can I do?
  3. Who can I get to help?

(Click herehere and here if you haven’t read the original posts yet)

Today, we are going to examine the second question a little more.

We Cannot Accomplish Anything We Are Unwilling to Do Something to Change

As we learn to answer the 3 Questions, it helps to come to terms with our own ability to make a difference. You have influence on many of the situations you find yourself facing.

At work, it may be as simple as the attitude you have about the task you’ve been assigned.

Or, maybe your ability to prepare for a situation provides you with the necessary influence to answer the second question.

For some, their answer to the second question is actually stepping up to take charge.

Realizing we can change a situation often proves difficult to comprehend. I remember playing basketball with a group of men when I was in my early 20s. I loved playing, but did not enjoy losing. I realized I was just playing in the games, I was not contributing to the games.

I began cultivating a mindset of “my team should win, and I’m going to do my part” each time we stepped on the floor. So, did we always win? No, but it changed my mental approach to the game.

Embracing the reality that we have the ability to influence a situation opens our eyes to the influence we provide.

There is a strong difference between being willing to affect change and being arrogant. Someone who thinks they always know the best next step or action does not affect change. They are not contributing to a situation, but causing a slow decay. Someone who realizes there is something inside of them that can provide benefit to a situation, is willing to make the situation better.

An arrogant person makes the solution about their ability; a humble person makes the solution about the problem at hand. It is okay to realize you can impact a room, but at the same time you do not have to let everyone know about it.

As we continue to dive into situations, seeking to answer the three questions, we grow stronger as we wrestle with how active or inactive we should be.

The bottom line is this: leaders rarely sit on the sideline. Leaders are willing to get their hands dirty. Leaders are willing to make mistakes, but are careful not to leave a trail of bodies in their wake.

Leadership often requires action. In order to act, we must come to terms with our abilities (and our shortcomings).

What situation are you walking into today will be better because you were there?


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