Change starts with you

How many times have you ever heard friends, relatives, or strangers in the grocery store telling stories about how things would have been so much better if…(insert long diatribe here about what comes after the if)? I bet it’s more than just a small handful if you think about it in life and you may be prone to it yourself without realizing it as we all can be.

I was listening to a friend tell such a story recently, listing problem after problem with life, whether it is the weather, lack of sunshine, or just too many commercials in between the television programs he was watching that day. I started thinking about his plight and realized that the biggest problem is realizing that change must come from us, not from elsewhere. We can blame others for a lot of things, many of which are quite true concerning external factors that we have no control over, but we must take charge over what we do have control of and make it work for us. This applies to us in general in life, but especially as leaders.

I think of our current economic crisis, much of which we did not have direct control over, but being wary of such events and being willing to make hard decisions to change our business models, our lifestyle, or the number of hours we have to put in to keep ourselves afloat come down to ourselves. It is always easiest to lay blame elsewhere, but we have to learn that we are the masters of our own destinies in life and when change is required, we have no one to rely on but ourselves to start the changes and look for the support and analyses of those surrounding us to accomplish whatever change is required.

This is a more broad generalization than I have used in previous blog posts, but I’m looking for any thoughts, opinions, or experiences from others to add to the conversation and thought a different take on the topic of leadership was due. Always looking for you comments and challenge you to leave one!

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Leadership isn’t best done alone

Ever hear of the saying “it’s lonely at the top?” I think about this a lot when the topic of leadership is brought up and I get the feeling this statement permeates a lot of people’s ideas concerning the topic, but if we look at many leaders, we find they did not get there alone.

One of the people I think of as a leader in business that falls into the aforementioned category is Warren Buffett. His success in investing and running businesses is fairly well known, but little spoken of is his right hand man Charlie Munger. Part of success is having those around you that also support and encourage you, in leading and in success. For this same example, one of the things Buffett looks for when considering buying a company is one that is well run. The first thing a person may think of with companies that are prime for acquisition is that they are doing poorly because of leadership, and although this is true for many cases, the companies sought after by Buffett are those that have good leadership and may need help in other areas, such as resources or restructuring-the details.

Surrounding ourselves with others that support us, even if indirectly, helps us continue moving forward in our endeavors and keep us on track. This is especially true the higher we move up in responsibilities because we can only manage around seven people at a maximum, so we need people that can take care of another seven, and more that can take care of another seven each down the line. We can certainly go alone, but human beings are fairly social beings and even tasks unrelated to leadership find us watching Sunday football with friends and family, spending our holidays with friends and family, and meeting up with friends after difficult projects have been completed at the bar. It’s all about who we associate with.

I am always after comments, opinions, and experiences you may have with anything I post and challenge you to write in!