There is no doubt we are living in a time of increasing complexity and intensity. Whether it is tension on trade wars, struggles in our communities, or businesses trying to navigate global competitors that seem to pop-up overnight, life seems to be getting more challenging.
With the growing complexity of challenges around us we tend to become overwhelmed and sometimes paralyzed with the sense that the challenges are insurmountable. Many times, we look to leaders in politics, education, business, and religion to support our ability to effectively deal with the challenges we face.
There are the great examples we read about like Gandhi leading change in India without ever holding public office. Churchill galvanizing the British people during time of war. Ronald Reagan as the catalyst for driving change to end the cold war. On the business front, we read about Jeff Bezos of Amazon changing the world of commerce and Elon Musk spearheading great technical advances with Tesla’s electric cars and space exploration with the company Space X.
However, the most important actions of people becoming a catalyst for change are those we don’t read about in the headlines. They are the actions of individuals in the home. The individual behaviors of parents, grandparents, and children within the home have always been the greatest catalyst for maintaining positive change over time. These are the behaviors that can scale and impact generations.
As we continue on our journey to build and strengthen our character, it is important for us to maintain the perspective that we can start where we are today, with those closest to us, to effectively deal with the uncertainty we see around us. Driving major change around the world and around our community is about individuals being the catalyst and those individuals are first and foremost impacted by behaviors in the home. Behaviors that scale begin in the home.
We all have our roles to play. Some of us are playing direct, major roles right now in dealing with the complexities we see all around us. However, for the vast majority of us, our best effort to impact these larger complexities can be brought down to clear and simple steps we can start with those closest to us in our homes.
For all of us, it does not matter what kind of home we came from or what condition our family is in today. We cannot rewrite the past. What matters most is what we do going forward to model behaviors to scale for a brighter tomorrow. We will always remain a son or daughter, a brother or sister, a parent or grandparent, a spouse or ex-spouse.
Here are a few thoughts on building behaviors that scale with those closest to us that can eventually expand to impact the world around us:
1. Intent. The risks are too great if we just “wing it.” We need to be intentional about modeling effective behaviors like compassion, understanding and commitment.
2. Time. We need take advantage of those moments between commitments of work, school, and community to create a meaningful connection. In this day of personal electronics, we need to be careful that we all don’t allow our “chill time” with headphones on to overtake some time to connect.
3. Conversation. Just talking beyond one syllable grunts is a great start for many of us. Taking it to the next level would be to have a conversation that starts with us just listening to a voice that needs to be heard without judgment or pontificating about the need to change.
4. Hope. We will always have challenges. The behaviors in the home should be the source of encouragement and hope for a better tomorrow.
As we guide our behaviors in the home by principles, like understanding, patience, and commitment, we will build and strengthen our character, and Character Creates Opportunity for us to create a positive impact in the home and scale those behaviors throughout our world.