I’m talking leadership again today and this week I want to share the 2nd MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION when it comes to be being a great leader.
Last week, I said that the #1 question is “what would a GREAT LEADER do?” Or what would a great PARENT do? Or what would a great FRIEND do? Or what would a great SERVANT OF GOD do? Whatever the context may be, find someone you consider to be “great” in that area and ask yourself “what would that person do in this situation?”
That was question #1.
Question #2 is more than just a question to ask; it’s a mindset to shift. Often we find ourselves considering certain decisions and asking ourselves “will this get me to my goal?” While that is certainly a good question to ask, a better question is this:
Will this get me CLOSER to my goal?
The difference is subtle but extremely important.
Don’t ask “will this get me to my goal?” Instead ask “will this get me CLOSER to my goal?” What's the difference? The difference lies in the mindset of “incremental progress” vs “all-at-once success.” Let me explain.
If I'm having problems in my marriage, will sending my wife a nice text message in the middle of the day solve my problems? Will it make our marriage great and get me to my goal of having oneness in our marriage? NO.
But will it get me closer to my goal? YES. Send the text message.
Will eating a salad instead of French fries at lunch today get me to my fitness or weight loss goals? NO.
But will it get me closer? YES. Skip the fries.
Will packing a lunch instead of going out to a restaurant get me out of debt for good? NO.
But will it get me closer? YES. Grab the brown bag.
Will praying for 5 minutes before work make me a saintly man and spiritual giant like Fr. Anthony? ABSOLUTELY NO WAY!
But will it get me closer? YES. Stop snoozing and get out of bed.
Don’t ask “will this get me to my goal?” Ask “will this get me CLOSER to my goal?”
Life is about decisions. We make hundreds of decisions every single day and ultimately, our life is nothing more than the summation of all those decisions. I am fully convinced that the greatest changes don’t happen from BIG changes but rather small changes practiced consistently over time.
In other words, INCREMENTAL CHANGE WILL ALWAYS YIELD GREATER RESULTS THAN MASSIVE, ALL-AT-ONCE CHANGE.
We get bogged down with big, hard-to-achieve goals: I can’t lose 50 pounds, I can’t write a book, I can’t can’t read whole Bible, I can’t get out of debt or fix my marriage. But instead, we need to think in terms of small steps that lead incremental change over time.
If you don’t believe me, then at least believe Jesus:
“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.” Matthew 13:31-32
Or, as the great John Wooden once said, “It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”
Stop asking “will this get me to my goal?” and start asking “will this get me closer?”