Champion Yourself

The world has changed.

Profound statement, right?!

Here’s what I think has changed: Recently a friend shared with me a quote that contains a tremendous amount of truth: “Everything is black and white, until it involves someone you love.”

How true is this? What was your stance on same-sex marriage until two gay men moved in next door and became the best neighbors you’ve ever had? What was your position on immigration until the foreign woman who lovingly cared for your elderly mother for seven years was subject to sudden deportation? Remember when you thought healthcare and insurance was not a right, but a privilege you earned, and then someone in your family faced bankruptcy because of a “pre-existing condition”?

The list of scenarios is endless. And far too relatable for all of us, if we’re truly honest.

What are you unwilling to change your mind about that’s preventing you from progress or hindering your relevance? What opinions do you have about yourself that are limiting your influence?

I recently was talking with a colleague about someone else we mutually knew. I said, “If only I had their competence and they had my confidence, it would make the perfect leader.” And then I later thought to myself, why would I downplay my competence? I can’t really speak to their level of confidence as I don’t know much about them, but the fact is I am very competent, in a broad array of areas, I just need to believe it. My mindset needs to be soundly grounded that I am not just competent, but extremely competent in numerous areas.

Now I recognize that it was somewhat of a throwaway line, but still, I think there’s truth in my paradigm about me. I think, even at the age of 53, that I’m less competent than I really am.

So, after writing this blog, I am going to become more deliberate about the words I use, specifically when I talk about myself. Talking negatively about others is simply gossip. Stop that—it’s toxic. Talking negatively about yourself is also toxic, but with even larger implications.

Join me this coming week as we become measurably more intentional with the words we use to describe ourselves. I think there’s enormous value in not only being your own biggest critic (which most of us can relate to), but also in being our biggest champion.

Are you your biggest champion? Or have you outsourced that to someone else?

The best leaders are curious. But they don’t just ask a lot of questions. They ask the right questions—the kind that focus their team’s brainpower on the right problems.

About the Author

Scott Miller

Scott Miller is a 25-year associate of FranklinCovey and serves as Senior Advisor, Thought Leadership. Scott hosts the world’s largest and fastest-growing podcast/newsletter devoted to leadership development, On Leadership. Additionally, Scott is the author of the multi-week Amazon #1 New Releases, Master Mentors: 30 Transformative Insights From Our Greatest Minds, Management Mess to Leadership Success: 30 Challenges to Become the Leader You Would Follow, and the Wall Street Journal bestseller, Everyone Deserves a Great Manager: The 6 Critical Practices for Leading a Team. He lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with his wife and three sons.

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