Preparation. That’s it. That’s the trap.
Rather than write a paragraph, you buy a beautiful leather-bound notebook. Rather than schedule a meeting with the team to reset the project, you order a book about team leadership from Amazon. Rather than write the first three slides of the presentation, you spend an hour checking out design templates.
There is nothing wrong with a preparation. But it makes you feel like you are making progress. Until you start, you are not.
Write on a legal pad, not a leather-bound book. Send the email scheduling the meeting. Write the first three slides on a blank template – make it look pretty later.
Start before you’re ready. (* this advice originally from Iris)
Leadership requires, indeed is defined by, causing change.
We don’t like change. We are wired to repeat the patterns that exist, and to resist the work necessary to build new ones.
But until we start, nothing will happen, and we are not leading. Here are three steps to begin your change. Do them now:
1. Work out the first small step. Don’t take a lot of time to do this. Thinking about this first move can be a trap that can last for years. Send a calendar invite to the team-member you need to talk to. Email your boss and ask for the meeting that is necessary. Write the first three slides of the presentation you have to build. Start small.
2. Clear your mind. Much of the resistance you feel is emotional, irrational. Five minutes of quiet meditation will help you see that the first step is just that, the first step. The world will not end if you get it wrong. In fact, usually not much will happen at all, except that you have started your journey, which is, in fact, massive.
3. Set your intention. Commit yourself to the small energy of what is necessary to take that first move.
And now do it. And now you’ve started to change yourself, and the world.