Leadership Insight No 40

Group of people celebrating team building
South African National Defence Force
1st January 2017
Group of people on stairs
Shield March
1st March 2017

Leadership Insight No 40

People in a field

The secret to your success is determined by your daily agenda. ~ John Maxwell

As we gallop into the New Year .. we aspire to make this year better than the last. We are going to achieve our ambitions; run Comrades Marathon, pass that exam, get the promotion, build your dream house …..Come February and many of us are back in the pothole. The enormity of the challenge (or life?) overwhelms us. I find the biggest single obstacle to people achieving their goals is that they do not have a plan of action. Plenty of dreaming, lots of rhetoric but no strategy. For example, if you want to do Comrades, don’t attempt the run from Durban to Pietermaritzburg on your first day of training. If you do this you will surely fail. You try tomorrow and again you crash. Now we begin to develop a mindset of failure. When viewed in its entirety aspirations appear hopelessly unattainable. Do not let fear of failure prevent you from trying new things. First, formulate the plan–write it down. Putting it on paper provides a psychological commitment to the venture and also allows you to break down the task into daily manageable sections. However, ensure that what you plan to do over the next 24 hours is achievable. Too many people shoot for the moon before they have climbed the hill ahead. There seems to be a desire to run before we walk. We want a ‘quick fix’ or we lose interest. If the project is going to take three years, let it. Too many people hesitate to begin because they are engulfed by the scale of the entire journey. Just take the first step. Action allows you to feel more in control – at least you are doing something positive about going forward. Your mind is concentrated on the daily task and not on the overall enterprise. Whatever you accomplish makes you feel a success and encourages you to complete the next step after that. You gain momentum and enthusiasm and at the passing of each day, you are one move closer to the final triumph. As you get to the finish line you look back and realise that your victory is merely the accumulation of regular daily activities developed over time into your personal goals.  

Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.

 Robert Collier