Knowing What You Do
When was the last time you learned something new, or did something differently? Many of us are so busy that even though there are things going on that we could learn from we may not notice unless we approach things deliberately.
In this session, you’ll consider the link between self-leadership and your behavior. You’ll also think about what it means to be a lifelong learner.
We can talk about ourselves in terms of self-leadership and set up a plan, but as the saying goes, “The proof is in the pudding.”
When you make a series of decisions about what you intend to do, and you start doing them, your behavior is in line with and supporting your intention. If you say you will do something and then allow yourself to be distracted, or you lose the commitment to a particular goal, then your behavior is not supporting your stated intention.
In order to keep your behavior on track, we encourage you to leverage the teaching of Christopher Neck and Charles Manz in their excellent book Mastering Self-Leadership: Empowering Yourself for Personal Excellence, 6th Edition. They write about the power of positive and negative cues in our environment.
Negative cues are things that distract or stop you from doing the things you want to be doing. If you want to cut down on the amount of time you spend watching television, but you have a 52 inch screen and 130 channels, you have a negative cue set up. The temptation to turn the television on and then start scanning programs or flipping channels is very evident. On the other hand, having a smaller screen, fewer channels, or a stack of tempting books next to your favorite chair can help distract you from the television.
Positive cues are things that influence you to do things that meet your goals. That stack of books handy when you sit down to relax, an ergonomic chair to work from, or a good long distance plan when you need to be making a lot of calls, are all positive cues. If your work involves a lot of driving, then keeping your car clean and in good shape is another positive cue. Positive cues can also include calendars with good scheduling programming, reminders, sticky notes, task lists, and being with people who are reminders of your desired behaviors.