How do you change the world? For that matter, how do you change yourself or an organization? We might start by looking at our habits.

Many of us have been “stuck in the middle” of a company. We feel helpless when we see better ways to do the work. But, we are powerless to make the changes or enforce the policies that could positively improve the work and the culture.

More than once, I have heard, “What you are saying makes sense, but I’m not in a position to do these things. I’m not the boss.”

Almost every time I teach a session on quality and improvement, this issue bubbles to the surface. I find that the individuals sitting in the class see a need and have learned a few strategies to make the workplace more efficient or just friendlier.

Often the changes aren’t anything significant, they are simply good work habits. Running an effective meeting.  Creating a checklist. Recognizing others for their contributions. And a myriad of other daily activities accomplished with purpose and intent.

Change the world in concentric circles . . .

“I believe the best way to change the world is in concentric circles: start with yourself and work your way out from there. If you get yourself sorted out, then that is one less person for the world to worry about. You’ll be in a position to contribute rather than consume. You will add order rather than disorder.”

The statement on James Clear’s About Page (Atomic Habits) reminded me that excellence is a habit.  We don’t change a company or ourselves without looking first at the habits we perpetuate every day. 

Work processes, daily rituals become the habits that drive what we accomplish. Those habits can make us better or leave us frustrated and hopeless at the end of the day.

My goal for today—start with me. What habits are holding excellence on the sidelines? 

What habits are limiting you and your workplace?

And always—

Be kind. Be brave. Be you.