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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Craig Groeschel » Craig Groeschel - Mastering the Habits That Matter Most

Craig Groeschel - Mastering the Habits That Matter Most

Craig Groeschel - Mastering the Habits That Matter Most
Craig Groeschel - Mastering the Habits That Matter Most
TOPICS: Leadership Podcast, Habits

The potential of your leadership is a reflection of the quality of your habits. So if you wanna be more effective in your leadership, you wanna be more strategic with your habits. Today we're launching a three part podcast series based on a new book that I've written called "The Power to Change". The title of this episode is "Mastering the Habits that Matter Most".

As we launch into a new year, what I know about you is you're like almost everybody. You're probably thinking about changing something. Maybe you want to change your diet or maybe you wanna be more disciplined in the morning or maybe you want to stop binge eating before you go to bed or maybe you wanna be more organized and plan your day before you start at the office. And chances are good that this won't be your first attempt to make that specific change. Because like me, we all have good intentions and we've probably tried before and maybe our attempt to change failed.

And so you may be thinking, I hope I can change. I hope I can grow. I hope I can become a better leader. And I wanna remind you that hope alone doesn't change your life, habits do, the same with your leadership. Hope doesn't change your leadership. The right habits will. And if you'll notice I said the right habits will. This may be obvious, but the wrong habits won't. And a lot of us have the wrong habits. For example, I often have the habit of interrupting others when they're speaking. That's rude and I've been working to break that habit. You might have the habit of starting meetings late and that's not respecting other people's time. Or you might have the bad habit of procrastinating and putting off what's most important. We wanna work for the right habits.

And why do the right habits matter so much in your leadership? Because the potential of your leadership is reflection of the quality of your habits. What do we know about habits? The habits you have today will shape who you become tomorrow. So if you want to be more effective in your leadership, it's time to get strategic with your habits. Let's answer the question, what do the best leaders have in common? Well, before we answer that, let's start with what they don't have in common. Contrary to popular belief, the best leaders are not necessarily the smartest people. They don't necessarily work the longest hours, they don't get more breaks than other people, and they don't necessarily have more connections.

What we know about the best leaders is this, the best leaders intentionally create strategic habits that produce the desired results. Let me say it again. The best leaders, they intentionally create the right and strategic habits that produce their desired results. Let's talk about being strategic. For example, the habits that you need to create, they are very, very different than the habits that I need to create, why? Because your desired results are very different than my desired results. And that's why I wanna just plead with you to be very, very intentional. And I'm gonna ask you, and we're gonna work through this in a few sessions, the question is this, what habits do you need to create? And to answer that question, we need to think about this.

To know what habit you need to create, you must first be clear on what result you want to get. Let me say it again. To know what habit you need to create, you must be clear on what result you wanna get. It's Steven Covey, who's best known for saying, "Start with the end in mind". Great advice. We're gonna add a little twist to that. And when we talk about starting with the end in mind and I talk about this in detail in my new book called "The Power to Change: Mastering the Habits That Matter Most". I want you to get the book "The Power to Change". In the book, we talk about this, instead of asking what do we want to do, we're gonna first ask a different question. Instead of what do we want to do, we're gonna ask who do I want to become?

Here's what we're gonna do. We're gonna start with who before do. Why does this matter so much? And believe me it does. Most leaders tend to start with external results. It's kinda like, what do I wanna accomplish? What we're gonna do is we're gonna start with internal qualities. Instead of what do I want to accomplish, we're gonna ask who do I want to become? Now why do our internal qualities matter so much? You may have heard of something called the imposter syndrome. If you haven't, here's a quick overview of the ideas behind the imposter syndrome. If you have the imposter syndrome, which is incredibly common, especially amongst leaders, you don't feel worthy of your role. No matter how much you do, no matter how good you actually are, you still don't actually feel competent.

If you battle with imposter syndrome, you tend to believe that whatever success you had, it was mostly lucky, you didn't really deserve it and you can't likely repeat it. If you battle with the syndrome, you often worry that you aren't meeting the expectations of other people. And the reason you worry about it is because you know you aren't meeting your own expectations. You might feel this ongoing nagging sense of insecurity like, I'm never good enough or it may be worse than that. It might be this debilitating depression where you feel like a total fake.

Now, the bad news for you and I wanna tell you this very frankly is that you are most likely more vulnerable to the imposter syndrome than many of your peers. You may say, why am I saying that? According to the manual of mental disorders, the imposter syndrome is actually disproportionately impacts high achievers, and that's most likely what you are. It tends to disproportionately impact those who are doing more, those who are leaders. Why are leaders prone to imposter syndrome is because we feel the burden of leadership and we often don't feel worthy of the weight that we carry. Now, as a total side note, I just wanna say this, I'm not a fan of the term imposter syndrome. I don't like those words together because imposter implies fraudulence and this isn't a character problem. This is a confidence problem.

Secondly, syndrome feels like a medical condition that you can't change and you know better than that. You have the power to change, right? And so how do we overcome imposter's syndrome? Well, this is one of the ways we do it and that is putting who over do. And let me explain it this way. I'm gonna ask you two very, very, very important questions.

The first question is this, number one, what is the biggest driving force that shapes your habits? Think about it, of every force in your life, what is the biggest driving force that shapes your habits? You might say, my friends, and that would be accurate that friends really do influence what you do. You might say, my environment, which again is a major contributor to your habits, you might say your goals, again, very important, you might say the stress you endure influence your habits. True, again, you might even argue that my predisposition influences my habits and all those would be important, but what's the biggest driving force that shapes your habits? The answer is this, the biggest driving force that shapes your habits is what you think of you.

Think about this, studies show that every time you face any situation, subconsciously you're asking yourself three questions. Anytime you face a situation in your mind playing in the background, very, very quickly in an instant, your mind says, "Hmm, what kind of situation is this? What kind of person am I, and what is a person like me do in a situation like this"? Every time, what kind of person am I and what do I do in a situation like this? So what's the biggest driving force that shapes your habits? The answer is what you think of you. In other words, you do what you do because of what you think of you.

Second question, what's the biggest driving force that shapes what you think of you? You might say, what other people think of me or my job title or like what I have, my house, my car, my income, my net worth, or how successful I feel. No, again, the biggest driving force that shapes what you think of you is your habits. What you do determines how you feel about you. And this is so important and this is why we talk about who before do. If you want to change what you do, change what you think about you, it's who before do, so in order to create the right habits to get the desired results, let's get to work. I'm gonna give you some application. This is your assignment. I wanna encourage you to do it with your team and we're gonna create two identity shaping statements.

The first one we're gonna create is what I call an "I Am statement". And the second one is an "I Do statement". I am and I do, and I'm gonna walk you through this and I want you to do this exercise. We're gonna start with an "I Am statement". And in one sentence, what you're gonna do is you're gonna try to answer the question, what kind of person do I wanna become or what kind of leader will I be? This is who before do and to help you process your answer, I'm gonna just talk about like two common leadership desires. When I work with people, a lot of leaders say, "Hey, you know, I wanna be more organized". Or some leaders say, "I want to care more about my people". And so let's say that's one of those is your goal. You're gonna write an "I Am statement" and using your hypothetical goal, you might say this, I am, what am I? I am an organized leader. Or your I am statement might be I am a leader who cares about people.

Now, in your mind, you might be saying, but I'm not. It doesn't matter. We're gonna declare what we want to be. We're gonna put it in present tense, I am, I am an organized leader and I wanna encourage you if you wanna be creative, be creative with this statement. You can add some color to it. You might say, I'm an organized, productive, results producing leader. Whatever it is, make it your own. And the first thing, what I want you to do is I want you to create your "I Am statement," who before do, now we're gonna create your "I Do statement". What is it that you do based on who you wanna be? What is it that you do based on the leader you wanna become? What's one habit that you need to create? Remember, the most successful people create specific habits to get the desired results. So what new habit will reinforce who you wanna become?

Now, if you're becoming an organized leader, you might look at an organized leader and look at some of their best habits and pick one small habit. That's your assignment. I am an organized leader. I do this one thing and you're adopting one new very specific small habit and just one. So you might say, if I'm an organized leader, I plan my day the night before. That's what organized leaders do. Or you might say, I prioritize the top three items to do each day before the day starts. Whatever it is, you're gonna create your "I Am statement" and your "I Do statement". Let's say your "I Am statement" is I am a leader who cares about people. So you're gonna ask, well, what do leaders who care about people do? And then you're gonna make one "I Do statement". And you might say, gosh, okay, the people that I know that really care about people, they listen way more than they talk.

So your I do statement might be I ask three questions before I say anything. So you have an interaction with someone and you're gonna ask them three questions because you're focusing on caring about them. Or you might say, you know, you want to express more gratitude to the people on your team. So you say, every day I write one note or send one text of gratitude. That might be your "I Do statement". Very simply, I am, my "I Am statement," and I do my "I Do statement". And what you might wanna do is you might wanna like put it on a screensaver on your computer or on the home screen on your phone, you might write it on lipstick on your bathroom mirror or whatever, you may even consider posting on social media for accountability. Tag me and I will cheer you on.

Why does this matter? James Clear says this and I love this quote, out of all his amazing content, this is one of my favorite quotes. He says, "Every action you take is a vote toward the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your new identity". Let me say it again. He says, "Every action, every little bitty I do thing, every little, little action you take is a vote toward the type of person you want to become and no single instant transforms your whole beliefs, your identity, but as the votes build up so does the evidence of your new identity".

Now, if I seem a little bit passionate about this subject the reason is because I am very passionate about this subject. And the reason is because in my leadership I always battled with imposter syndrome. I never, ever, especially in the early years, like literally in the early decades, I never felt good enough, especially for me, I never felt disciplined. In fact, growing up and in my early years of leadership, I literally felt very, very lazy. I always wanted the easy way out. And so years ago I decided I want to be a disciplined leader. And so I created an "I Am statement" years ago and here's my "I Am statement". It wasn't just I am disciplined, but my "I Am statement" was this, I am disciplined.

Christ in me is stronger than the wrong desires in me. Because I happen to be a Christian, I tied this to my own faith, spiritual beliefs and my "I Am statement" was, I am disciplined. Christ in me is stronger than the wrong desires in me. Then I created an "I Do statement," and what I did is year over year, I started adopting one new habit that reinforced my disciplined identity. And what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna tell you several of the habits that I created but I did not create them at one time. It was one a year, year over year, over year, over year, over year, over year, my new habits started reinforcing my identity that I am disciplined.

The first habit, if you've heard me teach for a while, you've heard this, I started flossing and the reason I started flossing is because I hate flossing and to the thrill of dental hygienists across the world, I talk about the power of flossing and if I do this one little habit, it tells me, yes, I overcome, my desire is not to do the right things and I end up doing the right things. And so it's a keystone habit for me. One year I decided to read through the Bible from front to back and then year over year I'd read through the Bible. One year I committed to pray daily with Amy. One year back when I wasn't working out, I committed to at least three workouts a week and now I generally do way more than that.

One year I started planning my lunches and so every day I'd come to work with my lunch planned. One year I started journaling. One year I did daily declarations. This year, small as it is, I started drinking a gallon of water a day, one little discipline, vote after small vote, small habits change my identity. And so bottom line is I'm not hoping to be a disciplined leader. My habits shouted out, I am an incredibly disciplined leader. I am disciplined, and I would tell you now, I'm one of the most disciplined people that you will ever meet. Not because it's natural, because I chose it, because I intentionally created specific small habits that made the desire that I had true in my life today. And you can do this, new year, new chance.

Let's go, question. Who do you wanna become? What are you gonna do about it? I am and I do. I've got an I am statement by faith, this is who I am becoming, and this is what I do to build into my identity to become the person that I wanna become. And you won't be perfect, but I promise you, you will be making progress. And so the next time that imposter syndrome tries to talk you down, just say, "I'm not listening to you. Hey, look at my habits. My habits speak for themselves". You do what you do because of what you think of you. If you wanna change what you do, change what you think of you, how do you change what you think of you? You do one small habit in the direction of the identity that you want to establish.

Who are you? I'll tell you who you are. You're absolutely and completely capable. You're gifted, you are talented. You have resources, abilities, connections. You can influence others. You can lead toward results. You can create systems. You are smart, you are driven, you are a people loving, culture creating, difference making leader. So because of who you are, determine what you're gonna do. Decide today to let go of what you used to be and grab hold and become the leader that you were meant to be. Let's do it. I am and I do. I'm not letting my body dictate where I go. I'm choosing to become the leader that I was created to be. I wanna remind you, get the leader guide because there's additional content in there to help you grow in your leadership.
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