Imagine walking along an outdoor trail during the middle of a pitch-black night. You’re a few hundred feet from your campground, and you have only a small flashlight to illuminate the path in front of you. Provided you know which way to go, it would be foolish to sit down and wait for the sun to rise—allowing you to see all the way to your campground—before continuing on your way. So long as you’re moving in the right direction, it does not matter that you can only see a few feet in front of you. To get where you want do go, you only have to take one step at a time.
As a leader, don’t expect to understand everything that’s required to see your vision come to fruition. Just take the next step. Too many people hesitate to begin because they cannot comprehend the entire journey.
People love to talk about their dreams; they come alive when they share their hopes for the future. However, a dream remains fanciful until you pursue it, in small ways, during your everyday routine. The daily things you do determine whether your dreams come true.
Why start small?
1) It encourages you to get started.
Expertise develops from the accumulation of simple lessons learned over the course of time. When you accomplish a small step, you provide yourself encouragement that you can accomplish the next step after that. People at the top of their professions aren’t necessarily brilliant; they’re extraordinarily dedicated.
2) It allows you to prioritize and concentrate.
When fixing a terrible golf swing, you can’t focus on changing seventeen bad habits simultaneously. Rather, you must pick one—a bad grip, a faulty backswing, or an improper stance—to improve before moving on. The human mind can only handle so much information at once. If you have twelve top priorities competing for your attention, then you’re unlikely to make significant progress on any of them.
3) It provides the necessary step to reach the next level.
Starting small qualifies you for bigger and better things. If you can’t successfully lead one person, who is going to entrust you with an entire division? Don’t despise the seeming smallness of the necessary tasks in front of you. You never know where they’ll lead.
Thought to Ponder
What is the next step you need to take in order to advance toward your dream over the coming month? When have you blocked off time for it on your daily schedule?