11 Jul 2011

Leadership and getting out of BED

There are some days when I struggle to get out of bed. I live in Melbourne, Australia, which is the middle of winter and the sun doesn’t get up until 7.30am in the morning. I am not alone; several million people live in my city so I am not alone – but there are days when knowing you are one of many doesn’t make it any easier!

I woke to this thought this morning and was reminded of an acronym that was taught to me by Jennifer Elliot of Integrity & Values – the ORA/BED model. I remember the ORA/BED model as the ‘get out of bed’ model. The acronym is:

O – Ownership

R – Responsibility

A – Accountability


B – Blame

E – Excuses

D – Denial

The question is (and posed to me) – Do you live above or below the line?

Often I don’t want to get out of bed because I have been up late the night before, and you can see that that response fits neatly in the ‘Excuses’ part of the model – below the line. I could respond with ‘It’s not my fault’ or ‘work is really busy at the moment’ or ‘there is so much on my plate’ and each one of those responses fails to accept that the decision to be up late or not get out of bed rests with me.

I use this model in my leadership lessons and for many people, it comes as a big jolt to look at what they are saying about themselves / workload / stress etc and really ‘hear’ what it sounds like to others.

I have had to face ‘getting out of BED” in regards to social media use. I have used the excuse of not having enough time, I have denied the fact that I need to use it at all (‘I get most of my work from referrals’) and passed off not being able to do it due to a lack of expertise. All responses live ‘below the line’ and don’t cut it.

To live above the line, you must take ownership of your life and your actions. You must take responsibility for what you do and how you do it. Further, you must also hold yourself to account for your actions and behaviours.

So this morning, I did what I have done for the last two weeks. When the alarm went off, I just wanted to hide my head under the pillow. But then the ORA/BED model pops into my head and grudgingly, I have headed down to the computer to write – which I have now found is one of the clearest times of the day (both in clarity of thought and lack of interruption). I have decided to take responsibility for my business social media use and actively market. I don’t completely know what I am doing, but I know that if I don’t make the effort I won’t succeed in what I want to achieve with my business. I also know that it is in my control to find the answers, and if I don’t know I have a responsibility to find out.

Living ‘above the line’ isn’t easy – but what things that you truly want come easy? I have also realized that living above the line is much easier when you truly love what you do and you believe that what you are trying to achieve is worthwhile.

So if you see a blog post at 6.00am in the morning, you know I have been successful in achieving in my goal. If not, you know that I have not got out of BED. Time to be held to account.

Are you getting out of BED? Do you blame others, come up with excuses or flat out deny that you need to do things? What can you do today to live above the line?