In Action, Beliefs, Leaders

“Your assumptions are your windows on the world.  Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.” – Alan Alda

I’ve been reminded a number of times over the past several weeks of the impact that our beliefs and attitudes have on our lives.  That maybe sounds like a pretty simplistic statement.  Of course our beliefs and attitudes have an impact on our lives, you’re thinking, tell us something we don’t already know.

Lately, I’ve been spending quite a bit of time working with people in a specific industry that currently happens to be going through a period of incredible turmoil.  There has been more change in this industry in the past two years than in the previous 120 years combined.

Each of these people is dealing with virtually the same situation, yet their responses are entirely different.  The clear difference between each individual is their belief and attitude about what’s going on around them.  And not just in the way you think.

Sometimes, we tend to think that our attitude simply dictates whether we’ll feel good or bad.  If we have a positive attitude, we’ll be happy, and if we have a negative attitude, we’ll be sad.  But there’s way more to it than that.

It isn’t just about how we feel.  Our beliefs and attitudes completely dictate what we do and how we act and how we respond to things going on around us.  At the extremes, we’ll either fly into action and make whatever changes we need to make to be successful, or we’ll sit quietly at the sidelines wishing the world would just go back to how it was, even though we weren’t that thrilled about how things were then either.

There is one core belief at the center of all that.  Do you believe that you can positively impact your world?  Do you believe that the choices you make and the actions you take and the words you speak really matter?  Or do you believe you’re just along for the ride?

Leaders who think that what they do matters will do things that matter.  They’ll make change and build relationships and drive actions that have an impact.  Leaders who think they’re just along for the ride will do nothing.  And then they’ll complain about how things just keep getting worse.

Which kind of leader are you?  One who thinks they can have a real, meaningful impact?  Or one who thinks that nothing they do really matters?  Take a good look in the mirror, because if you’re the second kind, then you’re not a leader at all.

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