For 2022, I am committed to upping my leadership game to up my business game, and to helping others do the same. Why? Well, to get better results, obviously, right? To this I have to say, “Yes, and…”
We all want better business results – a better bottom line. But additionally, what I want, and what I think we all want, is to grow as people so that we live lives driven and embraced by peace, joy, and inspiration. As such, my leadership skills need to serve ME as much as they serve my clients and my audience. Make sense?
To that end, I will often read leadership books, listen to leadership podcasts, watch leadership videos, and follow thoughts leaders. From where I’m sitting, it seems to me those great leaders have an aura of peacefulness, humility, command, and clarity. I look at them and think, “Wow. So often, I am anxious. So often, I am confused. So often, I feel like things are out of control. I want what they have! How will I ever get to where those leaders are?”
Look Back and See Your Growth
When I start thinking like that, comparing myself to others and feeling like the task of becoming the person and leader I want to be is an insurmountable mountain, a little voice inside me whispers, “Yeah, but just look at how far you’ve already come.”
And it’s true. I am not the same person I was. I have grown and changed. I am well on my way to becoming the leader I want to be. I’ll bet the same is true for you, too.
This month, I’m focusing on developing myself as a leader through the cultivation of habits that serve me (notice that I didn’t say “good habits”. I don’t like the moral attribution of “good” and “bad” on things like habits, thoughts, decisions or even food, because that feels like weaponizing. But we can talk about that some other time). So, I am revisiting a book a read a few years ago called Atomic Habits by James Clear. Y’all, this is such a great read! In fact, I’d go beyond calling it a read and say it’s a tool.
The Aggregation of Marginal Gains
One of the first things James Clear talks about in Atomic Habits is how the aggregation of marginal gains serves us to create meaningful improvement and growth. He uses a rule he calls the 1% factor. In essence, if you deconstruct every element and process of whatever it is you want to improve, breaking it down into the most miniscule pieces, and develop a plan to improve every facet by 1% (per day or whatever timeline you prefer), you thereby employ the law of the aggregation of marginal gains. In other words, all those tiny changes and improvements accumulate together to create a noticeable, marked improvement.
As I’ve said, when I think about the kind of leader – and ultimately what kind of person – I want to be, getting there can seem a daunting, even overwhelming task. Yes, I’ve come a long way, but sometimes it feels like there’s a long way yet to go.
Moving in the Right Direction
As W. Clement Stone says, “Little hinges swing big doors.” Using the aggregation of marginal gains, I realize I can take small, consistent, daily steps that serve me and move me in the desired direction. I believe that, as I undertake these little steps and they become habits, the accumulation and aggregation will culminate in what actually amounts to a dramatic leap forward.
How can the 1% factor help you in your business and life? Can you improve something by 1% per day and see what a difference it makes over the course of 90, 180, or 365 days?
Let me know what you think.
And, as always, stay on point!