According to behavioral scientists, the secret to personal growth resides in our core beliefs. In short, if you believe in doing something, your thoughts enable action! No belief, no consistent action. But here’s the real problem, our brains are hard wired toward pleasure and away from pain. In essence, to maintain the status quo, clinging to our own Cozy Club.
Steven Covey codified this in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Beliefs > Thoughts > Actions > Habits = Character
Charles Duhigg’s research provides a quantum leap forward in codifying how new habits are actually formed in his book the Power of Habit:
In my coaching practice, observing hundreds of clients here’s what I’ve learned:
#1: Leaders rarely make significant changes to their personal routines until there’s a crisis or a compelling reason to act. In essence, they must be stretched out of their comfort zone. Examples: A divorce or threat of divorce. A health scare. Getting fired or fear over losing their job/status. Receiving formal feedback/reprimand from their BOD or CEO over a performance gap or a behavioral issue.
So I tell my clients (after delivering 360 feedback), you can either rise up and embrace the FACTS by making some changes now, or face the most likely and natural consequences.
#2: Whatever the new initiative or change approach is, it must align with the client’s core beliefs and values.
The most effective and pragmatic approach here is asking the client what has worked for them in the past. Bringing them back to a place when they were consistently doing the key behavior or habit, and getting the desired results. I call this process, “Minding the Knowing vs Doing Gap!” You’d be shocked at how large the average leaders gap is….compared to the top 10% of leaders. Simply reducing a leaders gap by 25% has a profound impact on their confidence and capacity to lead.
#3: The top 10% leaders know and nail their daily drivers!
Great leaders know their drivers (both personal and business) and they have a compelling case/why they do them. They create alignment between their beliefs > thoughts > habits, by designing the cue, routine and rewards for each driver. They have a keener awareness (compelling internal why) for what they do and how it impact$ their leadership capacity and the business. The average person only reaches about 30% of their leadership capacity (influence and effectiveness) on any given day. While the top 10% function very consistently north of 50%.
“Here’s your watchout: There’s a great deal of difference between knowing something and recognizing its significance. Don’t wait for life to crush you, before you reach this understanding.”
Bottom Line: Your greatest growth plan is found in space between your knowing vs doing. Identify those few big rocks in the Gap and you’ll be well on your way.
A simple start: Seek feedback > Do a personal SWOT analysis > Find an Accountability partner/coach to help draw out and frame your Knowing vs Doing Gap. Create your plan.