Sometimes YOU Need to Change

Sometimes YOU have to change! With the right tools and a targeted plan, self-awareness in leadership development can lead to the most powerful positive transformations. Learn how to overcome one of the most common stumbling blocks for healthy work culture and effective teams with actionable tips and insights. Dive into Nat's story and uncover the journey to more effective leadership in the constantly evolving workforce.

“For things to change, YOU have to change. For things to get better, YOU have to get better. For things to improve, YOU have to improve. When YOU grow, EVERYTHING in your life grows with you.” ~ Jim Rohn

Our friends often remind us how wonderful we are. “You don’t need to change” is often what people who have a great support group around them hear. But, what if it is you who needs to make some changes? Have you ever heard someone referred to by the phrase “a little rough around the edges?” My elders have been known to say “Give them some time, life will smooth those rough edges out.” There are tools to help each of us smooth out those rough edges before life has to do it for us. Without them, we could be our own worst enemy.

As a seasoned leadership development expert, I’ve observed a common stumbling block: the tendency to blame external factors for our challenges. But what if I told you that sometimes, you’re the problem? That’s right – self-awareness is key to growth.

To kickstart this journey, leverage behavioral and personality assessments like DiSC, Myers-Briggs, and Emotional Intelligence. They have a lot to offer ongoingly.

They have a lot to offer. Once you have the tool, don’t let it sit in a file deep in the bowels of your professional development folder. Make it a point to bring that file up on a regular basis.

In the first 30 days:

Hone in on what you excel at. Choose one aspect from your profile that you’re already proficient in and commit to elevating it even further. This boosts confidence and sets the stage for growth.

From days 31 to 90:

Confront the obstacles hindering your progress. Identify one area highlighted by your assessments that holds you back from your goals. This is your chance to address it head-on and implement strategies for improvement.

Finally, on days 91 to 120:

Delve deeper into emotional intelligence. Focus on understanding and regulating your emotions, enhancing your interpersonal skills, and fostering better relationships – both personally and professionally.


Consider Nat’s story:

Nat was a talented leader whose efficiency came at a cost—alienating colleagues with a brusque demeanor. Nat’s mindset was clear: results trumped popularity. But as their manager pointed out, effectiveness isn’t just about hitting targets; it’s also about fostering collaboration and morale.

Nat: “They are just haters,” Nat would rebuttal as their director would offer reflection. “The project got done. We were ahead of schedule and under budget. If people don’t like it, too bad.” Nat said with certainty.

Manager: “You’re too direct.”

Nat: “That’s just the way I am. I say what’s on my mind, and I don’t mince words.”

Manager: “How have you seen people respond to you?”

Nat: “I don’t know. Am I supposed to care? People are here to do the work. They should JUST DO THE WORK!”

Nat’s approach may have yielded short-term successes, but it eroded trust and camaraderie in the long run. It’s a classic case of valuing output over relationships, a pitfall many leaders encounter. While Nat’s work ethic was commendable, their interpersonal skills needed refinement.

As leaders, it’s crucial to recognize that our impact extends beyond our deliverables; it encompasses the relationships we build and the environment we cultivate. Nat’s journey underscores the importance of self-awareness and adaptability. By embracing feedback and investing in personal growth, we can elevate not only our performance but also our relationships—a win-win for both productivity and morale.

In reflecting on Nat’s journey, we see the potential for growth when we acknowledge that sometimes, we are the ones who need to change. Nat’s dedication to efficiency is admirable, but by solely prioritizing output over relationships, they inadvertently hindered their own success.

By embracing the 6-month plan outlined earlier, Nat could embark on a transformative journey of self-discovery and improvement.

In the first 30 days, they could leverage their strengths, such as their efficiency, and refine them further.

Then, on days 31-90, Nat could focus on addressing the areas where their directness may hinder collaboration and communication, using insights from assessments like DiSC, Myers-Briggs, and Emotional Intelligence to guide their growth.

Finally, on days 91-120, Nat could consolidate their learnings and continue refining their interpersonal skills, ensuring a more balanced approach to leadership.

In doing so, Nat would not only enhance their effectiveness as a leader but also foster stronger connections and collaboration within their team. The 6-month plan serves as a roadmap for continuous improvement, empowering leaders like Nat to navigate challenges with confidence and grace.

Ultimately, I hope that you can embrace your inner Nat in that Nat’s story reminds us that leadership isn’t just about achieving results—it’s about fostering relationships, driving growth, and inspiring others to reach their full potential. With commitment and self-awareness, we can all strive to be leaders who not only excel in our roles but also leave a positive and lasting impact on those around us.

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