My colleague and I are finishing up a leadership workshop entitled “Becoming a Better Leader”. I was thinking that in order to be better at something you have to acknowledge what you do and then actively decided to improve. The workshop will be good for any leader or aspiring leader wanting to improve their effectiveness and influence as a leader. But for this article I want to consider what it takes to become “better” in any area of our lives.
How do we become better at what we do? Do we always want to become better at what we do? Maybe you are as good as you are going to get in a certain area, only you know that. Maybe if you get too good at what you do people will notice and you can really make a positive impact on the world around you. Becoming better raises the bar of what is standard. Raising the bar takes effort and active intention. My parents wanted to make me a better piano player so they made me practice every day after dinner for 30minutes. I thought I would die, 30 minutes felt cruel, like punishment. It was there at that piano bench I mastered the art of procrastination. I didn’t become a better piano player. In high school my piano teacher inspired my desire to become better when she gave me a piece of music to learn that I liked. I decided it was time to raise the bar. It took work but eventually 30 minutes felt like 3 and now I play all the time and am getting better.
Becoming better, in any area of our lives is always a good thing. What is that important thing you do and how can you do it better? Alan Weiss says don’t focus on the things you don’t need to do well focus on the things you need to do well and do them better.
Certainly how you become better will vary. Reading more about your area of interest/expertise, practicing your art, taking classes, getting degrees or certification all making you better at what you do. And finally you have to just do it! Take all that you have learned and all of that practice and get out there and make it happen. Do you want to be a better leader? Learn what that looks like for you, close the door to what you used to do that didn’t work and go forward with the intention of being a better leader.
In any area of our lives becoming better takes an acknowledgement of what we would like to improve, a commitment of effort to get better and a dedication to hang in there until you are better.