Three years ago I read an article by the “Leadership Freak” Dan Rockwell. It was titled “How to help people solve their problems”.
It proposed a way to change perspective about problem solving.
Here’s an excerpt of the article with 7 examples to think about. Who do you aspire to be when:
- Conflicts arise.
- Results surpass expectation.
- Bosses suck.
- Pivotal decisions need made.
- People disappoint.
- New opportunities emerge.
- Projects languish.
Begin with, “Who do you want to be,” not, “What do you want to do.” – Dan Rockwell
A Simple Idea To Change Perspectives
The solution is pretty straightforward. Figure out who I want to be in each situation and then “ask myself what would that person do?”
We like to joke with the phrase “what would Jesus do?” but I have to wonder why does it have to be Jesus? Why not a better version of me?
The classic phrase gives us an excuse: if Jesus was a saint how can I compare to that standard?
On the contrary, by taking the time to figure out what type of person we aspire to be, we now have a personal challenge to make it a reality. In other words, we have a stake in the game.
3 Lessons from implementing this idea
- It’s a scary process. When I first went through the exercise of defining who I aspire to be, it was very alarming to see the gap between who I was and who I wanted to be. To this day, the it is still scary to notice the gap isn’t closing fast enough.
- It takes a lot of energy. I have a tendency to think once I become aware of something that needs improvement, all I need to do is decide to address it. Unfortunately, old habits die hard and my willpower is not enough to have a flawless record. I have come to accept that becoming the best version of me is going to be a constant battle and it will require a tremendous amount of energy in order to develop new habits.
- It is all about courage. Ultimately, reaching our fullest potential requires acts of courage. It’s about defeating our inner demons, accepting the need to be vulnerable, and being willing to embrace failure as a stepping stone for growth.
I leave you with a simple question: What are you willing to give to become who you want to be?