From the Post: What do I do if no one else is doing it?
Ever since that fateful day at the university when I got that in-your-face feedback on my behavior, clean up your own yard has been my go-to response to anyone who tells me ‘no one else is doing it’, or ‘I don’t know where to start. In all of the years doing learning events I tell everyone that they can lead no matter what chair they sit in and you do it by cleaning up your yard first.
Many behavioral experts will tell us that we can’t change anyone’s behavior. Influencers will tell us we can change the environment which will allow others to change their behavior only if they want to change.
If you want to influence change start by changing your behaviors first and stick to it. Influencers are successful and respected when they are working for the common good of the group, not for personal gain, as some on the internet do.
It takes time to clean up your own yard because you may be dealing with old embedded habits and it’s worth it if you want to make a change. The real challenge is sustaining the practice. Many people will fight change including changing their behaviors by blowing their leaves into your yard and expecting you to clean it up. Stay focused on your yard, always.
You may have to take the first step, keep your yard clean no matter what your neighbors are doing. Time is your ally and so is deliberate practice. If you want trust, respect, or healthy communication on your team, then demonstrate behaviors that support and encourage what you want to see between you and others you work with. You never know who’s watching you.
Don’t wait for tomorrow, tomorrow never comes. What you have is today and this is the best time to begin anything.