Stepping up is seeing a need and deciding YOU are the right person to do something about it. It is about what you can do in your sphere of influence to create change, not looking to anyone else.
- The sphere of influence you have may be small but every one of us has his sphere of influence. Yes, everyone. Yes, we have influence over at least one person. Yes, that is yourself. So even if you cannot act outside of yourself, you can act within yourself and this will start creating ripples outside yourself and you will find that you start to influence those around you. When we focus on how we are contributing to a problem or how we can contribute to a solution we step up and then change become possible.
- When you start behaving in this way, you have changed your locus of control from external to internal. That is, you start to believe that events happen as a result of our behaviour and actions and not believe that powerful others, fate or chance lead to the events that happen in our lives. Yes, external forces can cause events in our life, but we cannot control these things. But we can control how we react to that event. You can do that more if you develop flexible mindset thinking and not fixed mindset thinking. This means rather than thinking about ourselves as somebody who has an unchanging set of talents and gifts, we think that we can grow and learn new skills. Rather than blaming about a situation we find ourselves in, we learn to adapt to the situation and do the best we can to improve it.
- Very often we do not step up because of many reasons. We think that be changing yourself you are never going to change the world. Well, may be true, but there is the possibility that if you change, a few other people will follow suit seeing you and this may build a critical mass and cause major change. Sometimes we are worried about the possibility of failure. No one can guarantee success if you step up, but if you do not step up there is a 100% guarantee that you will fail. Sometimes we think we do not have the time because we are very busy. But what are we busy about? Many a time we spend our time not on important things but on urgent and non-important things. If we learn to prioritize what is important and what is not, then we will all find time to step up. Sometimes we say that let others do all these things. Well, if we adopt this approach, then we have let the power we all have within ourselves go to waste.
- To change things we must want to change things. If we analyse too much, then we will always find reasons not to get involved. We need to have a vision and a dream. Sometimes this may look naïve to the world around you, but it is only people who have this naïvety change the world. You have to imagine a positive future and believe that you can do something to create it. You have to constantly challenge the assumption that things will not change. You have disregard the voices that say it will not matter if you step up.
- Then we should take 100% responsibility and 0% excuses. Ask yourself what have you done to contribute to the problem. Ask yourself what you can do to change the situation. Don’t make excuses. You will always find obstacles and setbacks on the way but do not give excuses. Ask how you can work through them to achieve your goal.
- Make plans but do not get bogged down by them. Start off doing one thing that will move you towards the future you seek. Find like-minded people to focus on what should be done by you in a positive manner. Try to clearly define the future that you are seeking.
- Do not think that you have to change your job or develop new skills. Identify the skills you already have and see how you can use that to create a difference. There is no need to change your job initially. Look at how you can step up in your job and create a difference.
- Remember that leadership is not a position. You are a leader when you carry the positive intention you have for the future always with you. You are leader when you come up with new ideas in your workplace, even if it is not your own department. You are a leader when you decide to step up.
- Do not be silent. Speak up when you have a constructive idea. Speak up when you think you can give constructive ideas to others in a respectful way. Speak up if you see problems escalating.
- When you are tempted to step up and think you don’t have the talent, skill or qualifications, remember that vision determination and persistence are the most important qualities of those who step up. Take a step and see what happens. Encourage others to take a step and see what happens.
- Ask for the opinion of others. Do not dismiss those opinions. Explore them. Encourage them, praise them when they do step up.
- You are IT. You can change things. If you do not step up, who will? If not now, then when?
– inspired by the book Stepping Up by John Izzo