The Mirror Test
If you want to be successful leader, you have to take 100% responsibility for everything that happens in your life. This includes your accomplishments, the results you produce, the quality of your relationships, your company’s successes and challenges. This is not easy for many people.
Most of us have been conditioned to blame something outside of ourselves for the parts of our life we don’t like. We blame our parents, our bosses, our friends, the president, co-workers, the economy, or anything we can pin the blame on. We don’t have the courage to look at where the real problem is—ourselves.
There is only one person responsible for the quality of the life you live. That person is you. Taking one hundred percent responsibility means that you acknowledge that you create everything that happens to you. If you are really interested in improving your life as a leader, then you will have to give up blaming and complaining.
So what can you do to take responsibility and become a great leader of your life?
Look at the person in the mirror - You can’t expect your followers to change their attitudes while you stay mired in your old blame-based approach. You had to begin with yourself. Ask the tough questions. The courageous questions of your leadership will reveal most fully in the questions you ask regarding performance.
It takes courage to face ourselves. It takes courage to see the real you even when things are not going well. By accepting what you see and feel about yourself as a person is a beginning toward a positive change. If you are still focused on blaming and complaining, you are not moving forward.
Leaders who are focused on blaming and complaining are giving someone else the power to change the circumstances of their life. When you begin to turn the finger back to you, it feels a bit strange but a true leader is comfortable with accepting full responsibility and owning the problems.
This exercise of looking in the mirror can be daunting and sometimes un-motivating to some but very powerful and enlightening. Why do I say powerful?
It’s powerful because of the realization that we can’t change the past, but we can change the future. It’s also an honest realization that we are not here to change anyone but ourselves. If you find yourself beginning to complain about everything but the choices you’ve made, then you need to take a step back. See if you can stop blaming outside factors for your results.
Successful leaders don’t waste their time and energy blaming and complaining. They evaluate their own experiences and decide if they need to change them or not. They face the mirror as uncomfortable as it may be and take risks in order to create the results they want.
Face the truth and take action-You have to be willing to change your behavior if you want different results. You have to be willing to take the necessary action to get what you want. If you’ve already taken an initial step in the right direction, now’s the time to plan additional steps to keep moving you forward, with positive momentum.
Successful leaders commit to taking 100% responsibility for every aspect of their lives. They decide to make changes, one step at a time. But once that decision is made, it will make a powerful impact in every area of your life.