I’d rather see a sermon any day than hear one. Wouldn’t you? Someone is always watching each of us. Most of the time we do not know they are watching us. Rest assured, though, they are taking notes about what we do. Through my experience as a runner, I have seen the positive impact consistent behavior can have on the observer, and how the disbelief/belief stage of an observer can change. For example:
Stage 1: I tell others I am training to run a marathon. The observer acknowledges the goal but does not believe it. We, as a society, have too often heard people say they will do something and then seen them make excuses for not completing the task.
Stage 2: The observer sees my consistent behavior, but justifies his or her inability to do something similar by using a weak excuse. For example, the observer sees me running consistently, but states they can’t do it because they have “bad knees."
Stage 3: The observer still doesn’t believe I will finish what I've started, but is beginning to want to believe. They ask, “Are you still running?” It takes willpower not to become discouraged or influenced by this remark. It also takes willpower not to make snide smart-aleck remarks.
Stage 4: The observer becomes an apprehensive believer. As it relates to running, they ask about upcoming races or mileage. The observer begins to live vicariously through my consistent action.
Stage 5: The observer is now a complete believer. They ask about my goals and my progress toward these goals. The observer celebrates my accomplishment of goals as if the goals were his or her own.
Stage 6: The observer becomes a participant themselves. He or she always compares what they are doing to you in a diminishing light. For example, they might say, “I’ve starting walking twice a week, but that doesn’t compare to your running.” It is at this point that we must become a cheerleader for the observer and encourage them to attain their goals, not ours.
These same stages occur during a business cycle:
- Observers watch you start/diversify a business.
- They make excuses about why they can’t do the same.
- They ask if you’ve hit any roadblocks in your business.
- They ask how busy your business is and begin to celebrate its growth.
- They ask what your growth strategy and goals are for the coming year.
- The observer might come to work for you, open their own business or expand their role in their current job.
Our consistent actions and words can change those observing our behavior. If, on the other hand, we quit and justify our failure with excuses, we reinforce the observer's initial disbelief in us. We need to be consistent in our actions! Who do think is watching you?
The author is president, Evans Glass Co. in Nashville and chairman of the board for the National Glass Association. Write him at email@example.com.
The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.