She is a brilliant, highly successful executive working for a large educational system. Her track record reveals a path of success in virtually every area that she has led. In the Make a Difference system vernacular, she is a strong Lion. She is sought after and respected for her vision, leadership and educational acumen. I asked her, in light of all of her success, to name something that she has learned about herself. She said, "One of the most powerful things I am learning is NMS." I asked her to explain. "It stands for Not My Stuff. I have the tendency to try to fix things that I don't need to fix. The result is that I over commit myself and thus increase my stress and decrease my productivity. Choosing to focus on my stuff, has allowed me to become more focused and effective as a leader."
As leaders, we are wired to recognize areas that could be improved. We recoil when we see mediocrity or underperformance. Our instincts may be to jump in and fix the issue, to make it excellent. However, doing so can lead to frustration, boundary issues and, ultimately, burn out. While there is no doubt that apathy and poor performance are at epidemic levels in our work culture today, we must realize that taking on too many issues will undermine our ability to lead with excellence.
It takes discipline and determination to identify our big rocks, to attack, and to stay focused on those goals and objectives. The wise leader's challenge is one worth taking. Choose to realize what is NMS and you will make a difference!
P.S. If you're interested in learning more about your personality and how to stay focused on your big rocks. Check out the Make a Difference E-Book!