The Little Engine's Self-Efficacy

Watty Piper’s The Little Engine That Could has been in the homes and classrooms of American children since the 1930s.

There’s a reason educators, caretakers and parents exposed us to this book and a reason why its message has surpassed generations: we all have the capacity, the ability and the potential to succeed if we embrace our self-efficacy. The Little Engine is one of the most famous lessons in self-efficacy, which is a trademark value of leadership.

You became a leader because you chose to inspire others, to bring value into other people’s lives.

But it’s so human of you to linger in doubt, to focus on what’s wrong. It’s much easier to mistrust employees, cherry pick through past failures of colleagues or repeat organizational mistakes that keep you from reaching the next level.

It’s easy to feel stuck and it’s hard to see a way out when doubt strikes. Sometimes you believe you just can’t.

We at Productive Learning want to assure you that these defeating beliefs are not real. You possess strong self-efficacy. That is, your version of I think I can.

Our Conscious Leadership Circle facilitators coach you through transformational change by tapping into your capacity, ability, and potential to lead effectively.

Business consultant, Robert Chapman, writes on LinkedIn that, “I think I can remains just as important in realizing a change objective, it is just repurposed as an incentive to complete the requisite steps on the way to change rather than to the ultimate change itself.”

Completing those steps means embracing your capacity, ability and potential to

become self-efficacious. When you believe you can, you trust yourself. That’s when you’re on your way to peak performance.

In our CLC workshop we coach you through each step of embracing your capacity, ability and potential:

Your capacity is a measure of the fullest extent of what you’re capable of achieving. Capacity is your engine. Some people leave it so unused that it rusts and looses its power. Others use it when they absolutely have to, like when tragedy strikes and suddenly they see their capability.

We help you create an empowering relationship with your capacity. Your engine feeds off your thoughts, it doesn’t matter if what you’re thinking is false, it only reacts to it. So if you think you can’t. You won’t.

We then turn to your ability—those skills you possess that can create an extraordinary life or that can be used poorly. Your abilities are essential train parts—the driving wheels, the connecting rods, the firebox… Everyone has abilities but not everyone uses them intelligently.

We train you (pun intended) to use your abilities to the fullest capacity.

Once you embrace your capacity and ability, you pivot your thinking, and begin reaching

your potential. Potential lets you see what’s possible. It’s what makes you believe you can.

Potential is what makes the engine and all the train parts work in unison to chug up a steep mountain with momentum.

As we reminisce on Watty Piper’s powerful story, we think of our childhood… back to the excitement of a opening a new Crayola box, to the afternoons when we “cooked” with Play-Doh, to our collection of Little Golden Books—where we learned about a little engines’s capacity, ability and potential.

“I think I can… I think I can” seeded the idea that you were capable of anything. If you’ve lost the message, we simply ask: are you willing to climb up, up, up to the top and unleash the power of your leadership through transformational change?

Whether you run a business or want to excel in your career, you’re capable of creating extraordinary results. Even little engines are manufacturing big changes.

We’re each creating a story of our lives. You can remain unmovable, letting time age the pages of your book of dreams.

Or, you can illustrate your book with powerful moments that stem from a life-long process of growth, where we tap into our very mighty engine.

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