In Action, Change, Leaders

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” – Joe Sabah

If you read what I posted last week in this space, this might sound like a repeat.  And it mostly is, with maybe a slight twist.  That’s primarily due to the fact that since the writing of that post, I’ve witnessed a bunch of things that not only confirmed what I’d written, but added to it significantly.

For the most part, we know what we need to do as leaders.  We know if there are changes we need to make to our products and services, we know the issues we need to address with our people, and so on.  The future is certainly fuzzy, and we don’t know everything, but we have a pretty good idea most of the time.  And yet so many of those important things go unaddressed.

One of the frustrating things in my career helping leaders is seeing those leaders refrain from doing the things they know they should do, but then complain about their current situation.  They understand there’s a problem, they understand they should address it, but they don’t.  They just talk about how bad the situation is.

At some point as a leader, you lose the right to complain when you refuse to address issues.  If you know there’s a problem with a customer, and you don’t address it, then you have no right to complain about that situation any longer.  If you know there’s a problem and you don’t deal with it, then you better learn to live with it.

But don’t settle for that.  Don’t just accept that something’s not right and it’s going to be not right permanently.  You have the ability to change things.  It might not go well the first time, or maybe the second.  You might look silly at first.  Sometimes you might feel like a fool.

Keep going.  Almost anything you can do that’s impactful will be a struggle at the beginning.  But you can’t get to the point where it is going well if you never start.  You have to take that first step before you can take the one where you cross the finish line.

Think about something you’ve been avoiding as a leader.  Something that needs to be addressed.  Think about what needs to happen and take that first step today.  You’ll wonder later why you waited so long.

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