Tuesday, April 24, 2018

This Year, Change How You Think

By J Randy Hall

It’s the time of year when most of us decide to do some things differently. There’s something powerful about a new year as we assess our lives, our business and even our relationships with others. The prospect of a new year lends itself to a fresh start and a sense that we will behave differently now because the calendar changed a digit or two. The reality is that many of the intentions we have to behave differently in the New Year will not result in sustainable change. To really change what we do, we have to change how we think.

Let’s take the ever popular lose weight and get in shape resolution. Anyone who’s been to a gym in the first few weeks of a new year can tell by the unusually large crowd that a wave of good intention has swept through the masses. By February or March, the newcomers are often nowhere to be found. For the most part, what we work to change are the activities. What we tell ourselves is that we should be in better shape; we should get to the gym. Talk to someone who works out consistently and what you often find is that they want to be in the gym and working out is something they enjoy rather than endure. To sustain new behaviors we have to actually adopt the mindset of those who are already consistent at that behavior.

Our mindset isn’t something we are stuck with; it’s something that we have created for ourselves through repetition of those same ideas to ourselves over time. We can change it the same way. It’s not easy, but it wasn’t easy creating it for ourselves either, it took some time.

The same is true in business and for business leaders. Leaders who bring out the best in their people always seem to believe that they have people who are capable of more. Leaders who believe there is a bright future ahead for the business spend time helping others see the potential for success.

The real question as we enter a new year and set new goals and aspirations is not how do I need to behave differently in order to accomplish more, it’s how do I need to think differently. Decide how you need your business to change for the coming year. Understand specifically what changes you need to make as a leader to help it make those shifts. Then examine how you need to think and what you need to focus on in order to operate in that way.

You may even find it useful to seek out people who operate that way consistently and learn from them. Don’t make the mistake that most people do though when they seek to duplicate success. Don’t focus only on the actions or the so-called best practices that the successful person is exhibiting, focus on the mindset they have as they put those actions into play. Duplicating that will not only help you change your current behaviors but sustain them as well.

This year as you seek to lead differently, accomplish more or achieve something different, create the mindset for yourself that will help you get there. Thinking like last year will get you last year’s actions and last year’s results. If you want something different, you will have to think differently to achieve it.

Randy Hall is the founder and principal of 4th Gear Consulting. He is passionate about developing amazing leaders and thriving, principled organizations. He believes that nothing will have greater impact on our economy, our communities, our lives and our kids’ lives.

For more than a decade Randy has worked for and with organizations to help them realize more of their potential. His most recent roles in the corporate world were Senior Vice President of Learning and Leadership Development at Bank of America and Global Director of Learning and Development at Pfizer. Prior to moving into leadership development, he spent several years in sales and led his own high performing teams.

You can contact Randy at randy.hall@4thgearconsulting.com or visit him on the web at http://4thgearconsulting.com You can also read more of Randy’s articles at http://4thgearconsulting.com/blog

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