Recently I was giving a presentation to a group of up-and-coming leaders. It was a casual gig so I dressed appropriately (or so I thought) in my jeans and an untucked shirt. Problem was, my jeans were so baggy that you could probably hide the Idaho Potato truck in there and nobody would notice. My wife tried to warn me before I headed out, but I was late and didn’t heed her call to change pants. Near the end of the presentation, the host who introduced me made fun of those pants. The crowd laughed. I laughed. But I got the message.
In both life and business, you likely have some things you are carrying that frankly need to go. Goodwill might not even want them. I’m not talking about out-of-date clothes (though if the proverbial shoe fits…), I’m talking about habits, attitudes, processes – things that you’ve been doing the same way for too long. Things that when you were younger or in a less strategic position in your company didn’t matter — but now they do. Maybe you joke a little too inappropriately. Maybe you’re always a few minutes late. Maybe your website hasn’t been updated in four years (which these days is a long time).
My point is, we are all carrying some “baggy pants” that need to go. Why haven’t they gone already? Probably because you haven’t cared and assume that since you don’t care, nobody else does either. News flash. People notice. Do you want to be a person of influence? You probably already are. So live your life and run your business as if others are watching. Be a standard-bearer for excellence. Just because something worked for you in the past, doesn’t mean it’s still working. Just because something went unnoticed or was tolerated in the past doesn’t mean that it’s OK to keep doing it. The higher up the ladder of influence you want to climb, the more refined your life needs to be. The pot metal that forms the housing of my lawn mower is not nearly as refined and high-grade of steel as the housing of a Boeing 737 jet engine. The stresses on that jet engine housing and the consequences if it fails are much greater than for my lawnmower. So it is with you. The more influence you have (or want to have), the more people who are watching, the more customers that you serve, the less you can afford to tolerate a bad habit, out-of-date process or ineffective employees.
Are there some baggy pants in your closet that need to go?
Let’s soar high and far this year, and make a positive difference in the lives of others!