Small adjustments can set the stage for big improvements in your leadership and in your life. Just as a linchpin plays a pivotal role in securing an axle in a car, it’s the little things that help you to keep moving forward. If you’re feeling stuck, there are slight modifications you can implement for more recognition and opportunities at work.
The challenge is identifying what’s holding you back.
More often than not, you need help identifying the incremental changes you can make to transform your career and your life. To get started, download our Small Changes, Remarkable Results worksheet. As you consider where you are now, and where you hope to go, you’ll have the vision needed to improve.
So why are small tweaks often more effective than dramatic changes?
Small Adjustments Led One Team from Defeat to Olympic Gold
The Great Britain Cycling Team illustrates the power of gradual shifts over time.
This group of expert cyclists were undoubtedly dedicated to their sport. They worked hard to produce results, they invested in cutting-edge technology, and they up-leveled their training regimens to gain recognition for their efforts. Despite all of this, for more than 100 years, this team won only a handful of Olympic gold medals and never once won cycling’s marquee competition: the Tour de France. Some bike manufacturers even refused to sell their bikes to them for fear the cycling team’s losing reputation would reflect poorly on them!
Over the years, the British cycling team hired coaches who tried to create dramatic, overnight turnarounds. They did anything they could think of to start winning! But that approach wasn’t working.
A Strategy of Marginal Gains
In 2003, the team hired Sir Dave Brailsford. He was quite unlike their previous coaches. Instead of looking for big problems to fix, Sir Brailsford committed to a strategy of marginal gains. The team focused on making small improvements in key areas that impacted optimal performance. They adjusted the seats, rubbed alcohol on the tires for better grip, and even tested fabrics in a wind tunnel to see which kind was best for maintaining ideal muscle temperature.
The results astounded the world. Unlocking the Power of Small Adjustments for Remarkable Results at Work
The very next year, in 2004, Great Britain won two Olympic gold medals, their best performance since 1908. Under Brailsford’s leadership, the cycling team continued to improve. British cyclists won 59 World Championships from 2003 to 2013. And they won the most cycling medals at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games, winning eight golds at each.
Leaders Need Help Identifying the Steps Towards Growth
Perhaps you’ve felt like Great Britain’s Cycling Team. Although you’re dedicated to producing results — you aren’t recognized for the difference you’re making. Additionally, you know you are capable of more responsibility, but you don’t know how to warrant the trust of the decision-makers around you.
The lack of opportunity and praise has you wondering if you are deeply flawed and in need of a dramatic turnaround.
You’ve read leadership books and sought advice from others. If you ask your boss what you can do better, you may be told, “keep doing what you’re doing,” or “you’re just not ready,”.
Perhaps you know (or you think you know) what is holding you back, but you feel it is too hard. You’ve tried to change that part of yourself in the past and it feels impossible.
One of our clients was told he “wasn’t ready” to present to the board. He “wasn’t ready” to be promoted. He “wasn’t ready” for a pay raise.
So, we identified a few key linchpin areas for improvement and then made a plan for him to implement some small adjustments so his boss could see he WAS ready. Before too long, his boss started talking about “when” he would present to the board, “when” he would get promoted, and “when” he would receive that pay raise.
Small Adjustments Can Lead You To New Opportunities
The good news is that you don’t need dramatic turnarounds to succeed! As you work with a coach to identify the linchpin areas of proximal development, you’ll be ready to make gradual shifts in your attitude and behavior.
We’ve seen the excitement and confidence that comes from investing in incremental growth over time. And we are proud to have developed the IMPACT® Leadership Program — our trademarked system of curriculum and coaching that leads to steady and long-term growth. As you engage with our proven system for change, you’ll gain the attention and respect needed to get to the next level.
If you’d like to connect and discuss the next best steps for you, you can Book a Consult.