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  • Writer's pictureTony Richards

Your Behavior Starts With You

The reason leaders are so important and powerful in organizations is because we all take our cues from someone else, usually those in charge. Research indicates that 30%-40% of organizational outcomes are effected by the culture of that organization and leaders can effect up to 20%-30% of the organizational climate and culture. Why? Because we all take our cues from leaders or the people we believe are in charge.

If an associate is afraid of telling a leader they are in the process of making a mistake for fear of being put in their place, that leader’s behavior is influencing the behavior of the subordinate and also the business outcome. By the same token, if a leader possesses behavior that recoils from giving honest feedback to an associate to achieve improvement in an area, that also effects performance and business outcomes. Having the appropriate behavior to match the situation is a powerful tool in the leader’s tool belt for mastery and success.

This is one of the reasons that developing yourself as a leader is not easy. You are always influencing someone else due to your actions and behavior. Behavioral change is also not easy, it takes a high degree of honesty with oneself, a high degree of self-awareness, time and tolerance for frustration. Our behavior patterns are formed long before most of us are aware of them, so those neural pathways are well entrenched. That is not to say they can’t be changed, they can. But as I am sure you have become aware, making changes in your life regarding your behavior is typically challenging and the fun only happens once the change has set in for a while then we see the benefits. For example, if every smoker could immediately see the effects of smoking, they would probably be more inclined to stop immediately.

Game Changing Quick Tips:

If you don’t believe you can change, you can’t. You are defeated before beginning.

If you believe in your ability to change, you gain a strong strategic advantage.

Know that lasting results take time to develop. Remember the story of the Tortoise and the Hare race?

Most people over-estimate what they can do in six months but under-estimate what they can do in three years.

Real change takes determination and work. Get yourself mentally prepared for the long haul.

Don’t get distracted. Keep yourself focused on the end goal. Once you start to see positive results, don’t declare victory yet.

Key Questions:

Are you aware of your behavior that creates positive and negative results in others?

What about with yourself?

Which of these will be your biggest challenge?

Where can you look for support and help?

How can you set the benefit and reward so you can maintain your motivation to achieve the behavior you need?

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