One of my favorite college football games every year is bedlam. It’s the intra-state rivalry between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. Many families in the great state of Oklahoma have a “house divided” in which some family members pull for one team and others pull for the other. I have family that went to Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State. It’s often tense and exciting as we are all hoping our teams come out on top for bragging rights. This year was no different and was intense once again.
In the 2nd half as Oklahoma led by two touchdowns, I kept thinking about how they just need to “move the chains” as they try to close out the game. Oklahoma didn’t need a long pass or breakaway play, just plays that could get them 3-4 years and keep the clock moving to stay in control of the game. When you make 3-4 yards a play, it leads to a first down which ultimately lets you keep the ball until you get to the end of the field for the score.
This is how high performers do it as well. They focus on moving the chains every day. Moving the chains isn’t about quantum leaps, but about small actions, good choices, and having the discipline to do the little things consistently every day over time. Over the past 32 weeks, I have been interviewing top level leaders in the workplace on my podcast “Life in the Leadership Lane” about how they got to where they are and what they continue to do as a leader. The common thread? They have developed good habits and a system to help them move the chains each day. They made the decision to show up, they are open to learn, they apply what they learn, and they teach/share with others. They also decided to become more by getting up early, taking care of their health, and time blocking what’s important, and continue to do this to keep them on track every day. It’s simple, it’s tough, and it’s effective. When we develop good habits and have a system in place, growing in any role becomes easier because it becomes part of our day.
- Want a promotion? Become more every day by designing a personal development plan.
- Want to grow your network? Schedule time to connect each day.
- Want to write a book? Apply the habit of writing every day with a blog to keep on track.
- Want to be a speaker? Start speaking more and toastmasters is a great place to practice.
- Want to sell more? Start investing time to learn more about your buyers.
Life will happen… but it’s up to us to decide if it will happen to us, or for us.
When I started my career with Armstrong Relocation, I wanted to grow in my business which also meant I needed to grow myself as a business leader… so I designed a personal development plan for myself that included reading books, improving my communication skills, and investing in my network. I knew that if I wanted to become more, that I needed to invest in my communication skills. So, I looked for all of the toastmasters in my area and selected one that I could attend every week, and that is what I did for the next 100 weeks… which is 2 years of practicing as a speaker. It was challenging getting started and challenging in the middle and challenging to continue in the end. Getting better is challenging, but it is also easier when we have a big “why.”
I remember applying to speak with many organizations earlier in my career and not having much interest at all. Fast forward to 2020… during a year when most companies have paused, I have spoken 27 times which is about every other week. The more I speak the better I am getting… which makes me feel good knowing someone might decide to apply something which will help them get better and ultimately share with someone they know. Last week, I shared “Great Leaders are Grateful People”. It was such a joy to share this message, but I know it can be better as I continue to share… and that is what I plan to do as I try to move the chains with this topic.
There are also times when we are going to make mistakes, get intercepted, fumble the ball, or even come up short of the first down marker… but when this happens, and it will happen, we just need to get up and go back to the little things – every day. One day you will look up and someone will ask how you did it, and you will probably share the story of how you were able to move the chains in the workplace and in your life.
Quote of the Day: “If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.” Steve Jobs
Call to Action: Write down 1-3 goals. Then design a personal development plan for achievement. Make sure you are including the who you want to be as much as you define what you want to achieve. Once completed, get started and try to move the chains with consistency each day and you will win in every area of your life!
This has been A Relocation Minute on “Moving the chains” with Bruce Waller, for more information, call