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Crucial Application

Crucial Applications: New Year’s Advice from Joseph Grenny on Forbes

Read Joseph’s latest columns on Forbes.com for tips and strategies for changing your behavior in 2013.

And Now for the Toughest Influence Challenge of All: Changing Myself

We have it all backward. We lament how the world is falling apart because other people won’t change. Health care costs soar because other people eat too much and exercise too little. The workplace is too political because others hoard information and resources. Others have dangerous political or religious views. Others are polluting the planet. And worst of all, “others” come to a full stop before entering the new traffic circles in my town. Sheesh!

That’s why we all crave the ability to influence others. If only we could get them to change, our lives would be better.

But over the past few years, I’ve gained an appreciation for those with the capacity to influence themselves. Unlike most of us, these successful individuals think of themselves as influence projects. They stand above themselves like interested scientists and consider the habits and proclivities of their favorite lab rats—themselves. By doing so, they develop insights, interventions, and strategies to behave differently.

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Are You Facing Your Own Fiscal Cliff? If So, Odds Are You Got There the Same Way Congress Did.

I’ve about had it with TV pundits and persons-on-the-street who decried the self-interested, short-sighted, infantile politics of Congress during the infamous “fiscal cliff” negotiations.

It’s not that I’m not worried or irritated at the behavior that keeps bringing us to these predictable precipices. It’s that in pointing our fingers at Congress, we are distracted from looking in the mirror.

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