Change – Here’s How!
By: Mary Lee Gannon
Nobody said change was easy. That’s why most people don’t do it.
But there is a deeper reason behind why it is hard that if understood,
will lead you to take action that will bring you new habits and
When you evolve and grow as a person you start with: 1) VALUES
which create 2) ATTITUDES which create 3) BEHAVIORS. For example,
when you were a young child you valued having friends, trusted all
people and behaved openly. Then through some unpleasant
experiences on the playground you learned that not everyone is
trustworthy on the same level so you behaved by choosing friends that
were consistently nice to you.
Here is a career example: You value your job so your attitude is that you
want your boss to notice you in order to advance so you behave by
working long hours to be noticed.
When you want to change your internal culture the process must move
in reverse, which is unnatural, making it much more difficult. You must
start with: 1) NEW BEHAVIORS which will create 2) NEW ATTITUDES
which will create 3) NEW VALUES.
Career example: You don’t want to work long hours anymore because
it has taken a toll on your family so you want to change your internal
culture by starting with a behavior. You will stop working longer and
begin working SMARTer. You will change your behavior by setting
SMART weekly goals that
are broken down into SMART daily goals. Remember SMART Goals
are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results Oriented and Time
Framed. Don’t worry about changing your attitude and values – that will
happen on its own. You will find that your attitude will change when
your boss notices how your own self discipline has made you more
productive – a smart adjustment on your part without any coaching.
You start to help colleagues with goal setting and you begin to value
how goal setting is not only a precursor to achievement but also to
leadership and a better quality of life.
If you want to change – just act. Do something differently. Don’t worry
about the feelings behind it. They will follow.
In the words of Henry Ford…
“If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re
“Business is never so healthy as when, like a chicken, it must do a
certain amount of scratching around for what it gets.”
“I am looking for a lot of men who have an infinite capacity to not know
what can’t be done.”
“If money is your hope for independence you will never have it. The
only real security that a man will have in this world is a reserve of
knowledge, experience, and ability.”
There are a couple of key factors that get in the way of change. Watch
out for them because they will become excuses that will lead to self-
paralysis. These key Leadership Obstructers are:
1) Guilt and Worry We guilt about the past and worry about the future.
Both are useless emotions because we can’t change the past and
worrying never changed the future for anybody. Action and goal setting
change the future.
2) Blame and Complain We blame and complain about whatever we
can so as not to take responsibility for changing behaviors. It’s easier
being a victim.
Did any of the above Leadership Obstructers ever make you happier or
did they simply take you farther away from a healthy life balance? What
behaviors will you change to move your life forward? Act! Start now!
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Mary Lee Gannon is an executive coach and turnaround expert who
went from being a stay-at-home mother with four children to divorce,
poverty and then on to become a newspaper reporter, trade
association executive director, public relations consultant, and
foundation president and CEO. View Mary Lee’s free career tips,
worksheets and Blog on her website at www.startingovernow.com.
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