Not everyone will become a great leader, but everyone can become a better leader. (John Maxwell)
What if every leader improved by just 1% in what they do every year? Imagine how that could change the trajectory of a life over time. Let me encourage you to do whatever it takes to become better at what you do.
As parents, we are leaders, both at home and in our other areas of influence. Here 5 super simple adjustments that I’ve tried to implement as habits to become a better leader.
If you think it, say it.
When you think something positive about someone, it may make you feel good about that person, but it does nothing for the person you’re thinking about, no matter how good the thought was. So next time you think about a great characteristic about your spouse, a reason you love your kids, or something someone did for you that really meant the world, stop, and take a moment to let them know. Making someone’s day is often easier than you think. If you think it, say it.
When asked for prayer, pray right there.
How many times has someone asked you to pray for them and you say something like, “For sure, I’ll be praying for you,” but then you never think about it again? Instead of saying you’ll pray for someone, stop, and pray right then and there with them about their request if at all possible. Not only will it keep you from forgetting, but they will also certainly remember you for it.
Learn and use people’s names.
The sweetest sound to every person is their own name. Always greet people you know by name. And when you meet new people, think of unique ways to remember their names for future interactions. Whether it’s your child’s teacher or coach, a visitor at your church, or the cashier who helps you check out weekly, learn people’s names, and then use them. There’s a hidden power in learning and using people’s names.
Live by the 5-second rule.
Mel Robins, the author of The 5 Second Rule, explains that when you know the right thing you need to do, by developing a habit of choosing it within the first five seconds, it can transform your life by removing the crippling effect of overthinking. When you know you should give that compliment, do that exercise, refuse that invitation, or say no to that extra brownie, use the 5-second rule. It really could change your life.
Learn to keep track of your soundtracks.
As Christian leaders, we are called to the ongoing process of renewing our minds (Romans 12:2). According to Jon Acuff, Soundtracks are the messages we tell ourselves over and over again in our head, either to our benefit or our demise. Maybe what our parents told us all along was actually true—”If you think you can’t, you never will.” However, change your soundtracks, change your life.
One of the soundtracks I’ve learned to change in my leadership and parenting is the shift from “they just won’t” to “I’ve not led them to.” Reframing the things I tell myself really does make a big difference.