How to Begin Again for the First Time

Meaningful contribution always includes beginning again.

Begin again for the first time:

#1. Begin with reflection.

  1. How do I aspire to contribute?
  2. What is true of me that enables my highest contribution in this moment?
  3. What type of relationships enable me to provide my highest contribution?
  4. What will it look like while I’m making my highest contribution in this moment?
  5. What might prevent me from making my highest contribution right now?

Reflect on yourself and past performance with painful candor.

#2. Begin by shifting from THEM to ME.

When people perform poorly, ask the Ben Zander question. “Who am I being that my players eyes are not shining?” (Ben is the Director of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra. Go to 9:25 on the video to see the question.)

You can read about the important leadership shift from ME to WE. But the essential shift for leaders is from THEM to ME – toward personal ownership.

Leadership ends when we expect more from others than we expect from ourselves.

  1. What are your commitments regardless of anyone else’s?
  2. What attitude will you bring to work regardless of others?
  3. How might you, “Be the change”?
  4. How might you expect more from others than you expect from yourself?
  5. How might you be contributing to the environment or relationships that hold you back?

“The toughest person to lead is always yourself.” John Maxwell (PDF)


Leadership begins when we obsess over OUR responsibility.

Blaming is self-affirmation and other-accusation. What’s wrong with this team? If only I had better team members.

Others help solve leadership challenges, but nothing changes until you change. I worked with a leader who remarked that every change in his organization is reflected in changes that happened in his own life first.

You have the team you have. NOW WHAT?

What prevents people from beginning again?

How would you encourage someone to begin again?