“I-think-I-can, I-think-I-can,” came the words of The Little Engine that Could. The old story from 1906, first told during a sermon by Rev. Charles Wing, is about a small talking train engine who volunteered to pull a heavier engine up a mountain when all the bigger engines made excuses and refused to try.
“Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.”
Those words of Mahatma Gandhi are not original to him. Long before Ghandi or the train story, King Solomon was inspired to write the Proverb,
“As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”
So what’s on your mind these days? Is your heart filled with doubts, dread, and doom, or is it spilling over with confidence, resolve, and hope? Either way, what you are thinking is what you are becoming.
The fact is, teams and organizations always take their cue from the leader. If your culture is negative, critical, and poisonous, it is time to look in the mirror and make some changes. If morale is high and excitement is in the air, it is because someone at the top is thinking right.
If you are the leader, it starts with you. Start believing in yourself and your team members and watch what happens. Your capacity will grow and your environment will improve for everyone involved.
The only question is . . . Do you think you can?
Which comes more natural to you, belief or doubt?
Randy is an author, speaker, executive coach, and the CEO of InteGREAT Leadership. He invests his time encouraging leaders around the world.