Pick your spots.
And so went my advice to a friend about a situation they found themselves facing.
Sometimes the temptation we, as leaders, face is to try to generate sweeping changes all at one time, when in reality the most effective change happens when we pick our spots.
If you face a situation and see ten different things that need addressing, here are three tips to help you narrow down your list and more effectively pick your spots.
- Clarify – Sure, you may be full of great ideas. I mean, truly, how many of us ever think to ourselves that our next great idea is a dud? But the person standing on the street corner yelling about ten different things doesn’t garner an audience. But, when you can narrow your focus, your message carries more weight. This bears itself out in preaching, too. A message with one solid point has a better chance of inspiring change than a message with one great point surrounded by two mediocre ones. Clarity pays.
- Prioritize – If you only had the relational capital to influence one change on your list of ten, which would it be? Start there. Then, after that one, consider moving on to the next. I’ve been playing a lot darts on my phone against my wife (#millenials). I do better when I have a specific spot I’m aiming to hit.
- Move with Humility – Be careful not to sit on your hands and think you don’t have influence. When you approach a situation with humility, then you have a better chance of affecting change. Sure you can barrel through your list and bully people into your way, but you’re the only person that wins. And when you’re the only person who wins, nobody wins.
As simple as this may sound, the reality is so often lasting change happens bit by bit. Take a minute to look around today and pick your spots. Clarify, prioritize, and move with humility. You may just be surprised at what you can accomplish.