Competence: change have-to to want-to

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High-Trust Leaders are uncommon.

One of the reasons they are uncommon is they are willing to do work that others shy away from: the mundane, the routine, the uncomfortable, the frustrating, the re-do to get it right, the unappreciated, the boring. We often refer to these tasks as “have-to” tasks.

Every significant project, mission, role, and relationship has elements that are energizing, engaging, and satisfying (“want-to” tasks), but they also have elements that we shy away from by procrastinating, dithering, ignoring, deflecting — the “have-to” tasks. Both must be accomplished successfully.

The secret is to transform tasks from “have-to” to “want-to.”

  1. Reflect on your greater purpose and reason for the task. Get in touch with why this task is important and necessary. Works best if written down, possibly in the notes section of your calendar. “I want to do this task because _____________.”
  2. Make a direct connection between the task and its contribution to success. What will be the consequence of delaying or not doing it well?
  3. Set aside sufficient time to accomplish the task. If you’ve done #1 and #2 above, you’ll be inclined to allocate the proper amount of time. Add 20% more than you think, to ensure you get it done and done right. If unfinished, it can be harder to get back to it later.
  4. Set the conditions for success. Schedule it when you are at your best. Too often we schedule “have-to” tasks at the end of the day when we’re tired, distracted, and lack sufficient energy to focus and execute in a timely manner. No wonder we procrastinate. What difference will it make if you bring your best-self to the activity vs. simply going through the motions or checking-the-block?
  5. Reward yourself. Put down the stick and pick up a carrot.
  6. When you catch your internal voice saying, “I have-to ____________,” change it to “I want to _____________.” That simple switch can affect your mood and emotion.

Be a High-Trust Leader: build your COMPETENCE and trustworthiness by doing the unglamorous, necessary tasks that are the building-blocks for great achievement and personal success.


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