I like this quote by Edward Everett Hale (19th Century American author/clergyman) because it resonates with what I believe.
I am only one,
But still I am one.
I cannot do everything,
But still I can do something;
And because I cannot do everything
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.
I often use this quote in when I’m working with leaders because it’s relevant to the change that they say they want to make and to highlight to them in an obvious way – but without me actually saying it – that taking individual accountability can start right away.
A person’s reluctance to change, stand out or be the lone voice is all too often an “excuse” for action. I also accept that in many organisations being different or seeming to be different by what you say and do can be a bit scary and challenging. However, if you fundamentally believe in the change that needs to be made, step up and start in whatever way you can. This is also true when running your own business.
I know there is so much I want to do, so many ideas that I want to try out and sometimes I get a little paralysed and do nothing because
- It is easier
- It takes little or no effort to maintain the status quo
- It’s not as scary
- It prevents me from being embarrassed, failing or making a complete fool of myself
But ultimately it is
- Less rewarding
- Not what I really want or need for myself
So more often than not I do adopt the. “I can’t do everything but I can do something” approach. I know I can’t change the world today but I can influence those people I come directly into contact with. By saying and doing what I believe to be true, believe will be of value and believe is worth pursuing I can at least do what I can do.
In othe words take accountability for doing the right thing.
What about you?