Stretch yourself!

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S   T   R   E   T   C   H 

Albert Einstein is famous for thinking about the world around him in new and mind-expanding ways.  How he stretched his own knowledge – and thus the world’s – is legendary. 

We cannot solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.                                                                             -Albert Einstein

And boy, oh boy, did Albert Einstein solve problems!

Obviously few of us have the wisdom of Einstein. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t be more like Einstein in our thinking. When we are honest with ourselves we know that the things we did in the past will not continue to work in the future.  “Acting like Einstein” is always striving to reach the next level of performance.

A very practical example can be found within our schools. If a teacher continues to teach a child the letter ‘A’ over and over, that child will know a lot about ‘A’. But beyond that no real progress will be made. She must move to the next letter of the alphabet, to words, to numbers, to simple and then more complicated concepts, and so on.  Right?

Just as the child reaches new levels of performance over time, so must the teacher. It is like that in leadership, too.  How you lead a new employee is completely different from how you should be leading your top performers. If you don’t move to a new level of leadership performance your employees will suffer and so will your organization.

What’s your next level?

My guess is that you are generally happy with how far you’ve come in your development as a person – spouse – parent – employee – leader – citizen – volunteer – caregiver.

And now it is time to ask yourself: Are you working from the same place that got you to this point? Or are you stretching yourself?

You may be super-strong. But if you lift the same weights in the gym over time, your muscles will adapt and you’ll stop seeing progress. It’s the same at work.  If you continue with time-worn practices and processes in your profession, you will eventually stop seeing progress. Your competitors will be advancing, so you will actually begin to see things deteriorate if you continue doing things like you always have, comparatively speaking.  It is no coincidence that customers continue to expect more of each and every company. They expect us to make it to the next level, and the next, and the next.

Unfortunately, your  next level  doesn’t magically show up one day. It requires stretching – pushing past your previous limits.

Ponder these questions:

  • Are you satisfied with your impact in your own spheres of influence?
  • What needs reviewing/quitting/starting/revising?
  • Where would you like to be headed next with your work?
  • What do you need to do to get there?  Or need from others?
  • What’s step #1?

Let’s make this the summer to S  T  R  E  T  C  H  !

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