“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.” – Jim Rohn
People are interesting creatures. We like to talk about things like excellence, work ethic, success, etc. We say we want those kinds of things, and that those are the kinds of things you should aspire to, and that to aim for anything less is lazy or irresponsible. We would never dare say out loud that our goal in life is to be mediocre.
And yet, so few people are actually willing to do the things necessary to achieve those noble-sounding ideals. Most leaders have a pretty good idea of how to achieve excellence in their given field. But most of them aren’t usually willing to do what is necessary to get there.
Forget high-minded theoreticals like “excellence”. How about something as simple as: What do you really want your organization, or your career, to be? Everyone talks about wanting their business to grow, but do you really want that? Maybe you like the idea of growth, but are you willing to do what’s necessary to make that happen? Growth is a lot of work. Growth requires getting outside of your comfort zone. Growth requires not simply continuing to do the same things we’ve always done because that’s what’s familiar. Are you willing to do that?
What about yourself as a leader? I’ve never heard a leader say that their goal was to lead an organization poorly, or to help a strong company become a weak one, or to completely fail in their responsibilities as leader. So what are you willing to do to avoid those things? Are you willing to put in the time on the relationships that need it? Are you willing to honestly evaluate and adapt your own behaviors? Are you willing to put in the effort to build the capabilities you’re lacking?
The point of this isn’t to say that most people are actually lazy bums who don’t want to do anything. Lack of effort isn’t most people’s problem. The problem is not putting your effort into the right things. It doesn’t matter how hard you’re working if you doing things that will make you below average. You have to do the right things at a high level, and do that consistently.
Think about what you really think you want your business or your career to be. What will it take to make that a reality? Are you willing to do whatever that is? Be honest with yourself – then get to work.