Google can pull up a gazillion well-researched articles on change, resilience, productivity, service, branding and anything else you want to know about leadership and business success, but here’s the real secret.
Athletes and rock stars get time, researchers and entrepreneurs get it too. They get just how long it took from that first thought or want to something becoming a reality. They get that failure is part of success and a process of creativity and innovation. Real estate agents get it too. They understand that relationships take time and they take steps to build relationships every day.
See where this is going?
Understanding time isn’t as complicated or as ‘woo-woo’ as it sounds, it’s a discipline and a rather boring one. The first time I read about how we do not understand time was a few years ago in a book called The Slight Edge. It’s a book with philosophies that radically changed my work as a communications specialist and transformed my business (even its name).
Author, Jeff Olson describes it as the ‘secret of time’, which is not only about how things take time to cultivate but how time is actually on our side. It’s about how we can achieve great things if we do something consistently toward that goal.
For a wannabe rock star it might be playing every day without fail for 10 minutes, for a wannabe leader, it might be reading 10 pages of a good book every day.
And therein lies the secret: doing it every day, consistently even when that road to success is paved with the boring little things that are easy to do, and just as easy not to do.
We’re so used to our instant gratification world that we’ve lost our patience. Our attention moves to the next sparkly thing. However, whatever it is you want to achieve for yourself or your business or your team is all possible if you just start and keep moving. Consistency is the key.
Here’s how it is visually explained in The Slight Edge.
Here’s one of the ways we implement new concepts or strategies to people we work with using this Slight Edge philosophy of consistency and time.
Every day on the What’s Your Edge? (WYE?) Facebook page we post two questions.
In the morning, it goes something like this:
“What small step are you going to take today toward a goal? Consistency is the key”.
Here’s why we intentionally repeat this question:
1: To connect with our readers at the start of the day and help them to connect with what they really want.
2: To back them and remind them to embrace the mundane and do that one action, that small thing.
3: To help them understand the Slight Edge philosophy: Consistently repeated daily actions + time = massive success.
In the evening we ask “What are you grateful for today?”
This is a question we regularly put to teams and individuals on our programs, in coaching and at conferences.
Taking a moment to be grateful can have a grounding effect, but also has an amazing effect on lifting your spirit and the spirit of others.
It makes you smile, perhaps laugh and works as a fantastic icebreaker for the start of a meeting. We now have teams that start every meeting asking around the table “What are you grateful for today?” and it’s amazing the team intelligence that comes from it.
Understanding time and using it to your favour to build upon what has already been achieved will give you the edge in whatever you choose. Making even the smallest step matters. So now I put it to you: