By Lolly Daskal
Accomplishing the things you want to do requires performing at your highest standard, but getting there–and staying there–can be challenging.
One proven technique involves making an agreement with yourself.
Tell yourself that you choose to be a certain way and agree that every decision, every choice, every challenge, will be met from the same perspective.
Here are seven agreements to make with yourself–a path to success.
1. I will always be open. It’s always easy to make assumptions, but if you want to know what is happening, ask. If you want to tell people what is going on, communicate. Leave no room for speculation or guessing–communicate and dialogue directly and concisely. Assumptions kill achievement.
2. I will always lead with integrity. When you speak, and when you act, it will always be with integrity. That means you will say what you mean and mean what you say; your words will always be impeccable, irreproachable, and, most important, aligned to your actions. Keep integrity at the core.
3. I will always do my very best. If you want to succeed, whatever you do will always have to be from your very best. Doing your best is never going to mean the same thing each time–it will change with changing circumstances and new people. But whatever the circumstance of situation, no matter who is involved or what you do, everything should come with your highest intentions and best effort.
4. I will always be appreciative: Sometimes we can take people or things for granted. It’s easy to take on an entitlement perspective–to say “I deserve this.” And perhaps you do, but you should never take anything for granted. Always show appreciation, because when you show appreciation, you will always get back more than expected.
5. I will always listen better. Unfortunately, most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply. Communication is at the heart of leadership, and that means we all have to become better listeners. Learn to be more conscious of how you listen, because success requires that we do much more listening than talking. Focus on each word, each hesitation, each silence.
6. I will always be of service. If you want to succeed, serve, if you want to be successful, serve with heart. At the heart of great achievement lies the foundation of helping others, guiding others, supporting others. Just as we are successful because of others, we are successful when we help others. Your gifts are not about you, your leadership is not about you, and your purpose is not about you. A life of success is all about serving those who need your gifts, your leadership and your purpose.
7. I will be always be honest. Telling the truth is hard; research says that 60 percent of adults can’t have a 10-minute conversation without lying at least once. Telling the truth is hard sometimes, but it’s the right thing to do. Think about your meetings, conversations, business deals–where can you add your truth? Success comes to those who can honestly say what is on their minds, regardless of what people might think or say.
Start with these seven–or as many as you think you need–and keep adding to the list and refining it as you need to. Success isn’t a quick fix but a lifelong path of agreements.
Lolly Daskal is the president and CEO of Lead From Within, a global consultancy that specializes in leadership and entrepreneurial development. Daskal’s programs galvanize clients into achieving their best, helping them accelerate and deliver on their professional goals and business objectives.