Changing your behaviors or that of members of your team isn’t easy which is why I do so many articles about it. There always seems to be an excuse that seems plausible for putting it off. None of the leaders I work with tell me they have lots of time to spare. Everyone seems to have more tasks on their task list then they can get done in a day or even a week. Any leader can easily find an obstacle for not working on implementing a needed change.
In a recent Fast Company article they listed 7 obstacles that might be keeping you from changing which include:
- Being blind to your blindness
- The desire to be comfortable
- Confusing opinions with learning
- The desire for instant gratification
- Thinking but not doing
- The drive for novelty
- The belief that change is private
The one that I recognize in people that aren’t able to sustain change and has the biggest impact on their desired outcomes is the drive for novelty. Are you always seeking the next big thing? Do you stick with a plan long enough to get completely bored with it? Success is not sexy. Success is sustained by having a formula for it and sticking with it.
Here’s another list that has some close similarities to the last one. This one focuses on the 10 mistakes in Behavior Change and is from Derek Franklin in a Youtube video that might put you to sleep but it contained some good information.
- Relying on willpower for long-term change (imagine willpower doesn’t exist)
- Attempting big leaps instead of baby steps (seeking successes – one after another)
- Ignoring environment shapes behaviors (change your context and you change your life)
- Trying to stop old behaviors instead of creating new ones (focus on action,not avoidance)
- Blaming failures on lack of motivation (make the behavior easier to do) – make it a priority
- Underestimating the power of triggers (no behavior happens without a trigger)
- Believing that information leads to action (We humans aren’t so rational)
- Focusing on abstract goals more than concrete behaviors (abstract: Get in shape, Concreate: Walk 15 min 5x a week)
- Seeking to change a behavior forever, not for a short time. (A fixed period works better than forever)
- Assuming that behavior change is difficult. (Behavior change is not so hard when you have the right process).
Create a vision for what you want. Be sure that you and your team are motivated to achieve it. Design the baby steps to get there. It won’t always be fun. It may not be exciting every day. What will be super cool is getting to your desired outcome.
I believe in you. You are a leader with passion and purpose. Learn from and engage with others to change any behavior that is not leading to your organization’s highest potential.