William Osler, the physician who wrote The Principles and Practice of Medicine in 1892, once told a group of medical students:
“Banish the future. Live only for the hour and its allotted work. Think not the amount to be accomplished, the difficulties to be overcome, or the end to attained, but set earnestly at the little task at your elbow, letting that be sufficient for the day; for surely our plain duty is, as Carlyle says, ‘Not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.’”
The only way to improve is to practice your craft until you know it inside and out. At first, you do what you know to do. The more you practice your craft, the more you know. But as you do more, you will also discover more about what you ought to do differently. At that point you have a decision to make: Will you do what you have always done, or will you try to do more of what you think you should do? The only way you improve is to get out of your comfort zone and try new things.
People often ask me, “How can I grow my business?” or “How can I make my department better?” The answer is for you personally to grow. The only way to grow your organization is to grow the leaders who run it. By making yourself better, you make others better. Retired General Electric CEO Jack Welch said, “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” And the time to start is today.
Focus your energy on trying something within your strength zone but
outside of your comfort zone.
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.