“Change starts with myself”

Grace always wants to be in the forefront of our attention — especially when Oliver and Dodger are around. My original intention was to photograph (only) the cats because we rarely finding them napping so closely together. When Grace realized my sights were set solely on them, she plopped herself right in the way. She definitely expects others to navigate around her world instead of realizing she could adjust as well.

Grace really thinks that everyone—any dog, any cat, any human—should make adjustments to her needs. I know that comes from a lack of confidence and we continue to work on that, and in many ways it is endearing. She only wants to know we love her – more than we love her feline brothers, for example.

When she senses that our attention to her is secondary, she will bring herself front and center, just to remind us in her not-so-subtle way who is Number One. Yes, it’s kinda cute, but it’s not very mature, and it’s much less attractive when humans do it. So I wanted to share something that I experienced this week that impressed and inspired me.

I met with a management team for the first time and our topic was “Leadership Development.” At the end of the afternoon, I asked them to provide feedback on the time we spent together: what was the most important thing they had taken from the day?

I didn’t have any expectation for what would be said. We had covered a lot of topics and there were many rich gems that were discussed. But I was bowled over with what I was reading. There was an amazing consistency in a theme articulated by the participants. This is what they said:

“I really need to develop myself in order to better develop and mentor our staff.”

“The most important thing I got out of today is to keep learning more about myself to improve the perception others have of me.”

“Lead by example.”

And the one that really moved me: “Change starts with myself.”

It is all too often that I walk into an organization with a manager saying to me: “I’m having a lot of trouble with one of my employees. Can you work with her?” The implication and often the reality is that the manager does not understand their role in the issues that are happening. It takes two to tango.

Grace continues to learn this lesson, as I think we all do. It’s much too easy to put responsibility on someone else to fix the problem. So I am very excited to see that this group is willing to take the important step of being accountable for the change they want to see. Transformation will never happen without both parties taking ownership for making adjustments.

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  1. annie on April 22, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Right on the money, every time. Wow. Look within when “everyone” else is driving you crazy, or not doing things right… Yup, I know it but I need to work on it all the time.
    Thanks Miss Robin and Grace.

    • PeopleSense Consulting LLC on April 22, 2011 at 7:31 pm

      I completely agree that this is a constant effort! Thanks for visiting and adding your thoughts, Annie, much appreciated!

  2. didiwright on April 26, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Thanks for the reminder, Robin. It’s much easier to blame others for everything than admit that we’re not perfect or we need to change.

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