‘Something must be done’ is, in my opinion, a phrase of convenience.
To be clear, it’s one I’ve used myself, probably more times than I’d like to admit.
But while we may temporarily feel better saying it, ‘Something must be done’ leaves us powerless and pointing fingers – neither of which do much to elevate humanity or our own sense of personal leadership.
What if we shift ‘Something must be done’ to ‘Here’s what I’m doing’ instead?
Some actions might include:
Read well-researched resources, listen to interviews with qualified subject matter experts, ask questions of trusted sources. Take good notes about how to turn the knowledge into action, too.
Engaging in meaningful, respectful conversation.
In a coach training course years ago, we were invited to practice the 80/20 rule: As the coach, spend 80% of the session listening, 20% (if that) talking. Why? We can’t learn anything new if we’re always talking. This applies to scenarios well beyond a coaching session.
Becoming a critical thinker.
Years ago, NPR pulled a telling April Fool’s joke: They posted an article with the headline, ‘Why Doesn’t America Read Anymore?’ and quietly showed how quick people are to respond to and share headlines without actually reading the article. Rather than accepting sound bytes or sharing catchy headlines as fact, commit to digging deeper.
Some of my dear friends behave, choose, and vote differently than me. I have learned so much by asking them questions – and listening to their responses. Genuine curiosity goes a long way toward personal growth, understanding various viewpoints, strengthening interpersonal relationships, and taking purposeful action.
Tuning in to your values.
When I finish reading a book, I make sure I record my own thoughts before looking at others’ reviews. I love to hear others’ opinions, I just want to make sure I come from a place of values-based authenticity. If your first reaction – when reading a book, or hearing of an event, or whatever – is to see what everyone else thinks, practice tuning inward first. You can be open to possibility while remaining true to your values.
I am continually challenging myself to do all of the above, and I am open to more ideas. What would you add to this list to help us move from ‘Something must be done’ to ‘I am doing something’?
Contact me today if you’d like help expanding and strengthening your personal leadership.