“Hey, we are doing pretty good. Why would we want to make any changes?”
“Don’t you think we could do a little better?” — Employee questioning his leader
Many people would rather do anything than change . . . even when things may not be going well.
Do you remember reading a book in high school titled The Road Less Traveled? Three words were on the first page of the book: “Life is difficult.” The reason the road was less traveled was because it was difficult. People would pass it by looking for the road without difficulties—Easy Street. Responding to change is like going down the road less traveled. It’s not Easy Street but it gets you where you need to be.
Mediocrity is success’s worst enemy—a greater enemy than failure. If viewed with the right perspective, failure leads to success because it forces you to move in another direction. Mediocrity, on the other hand, hinders success because it keeps you in your comfort zone and prevents your team from moving forward. Nothing big is won in the comfort zone. The risk is small, but so is the reward.
Learning and growth happen when you are uncomfortable. Think of your most defining moments in your life. Were you hanging out in your comfort zone? Probably not—I bet you were hanging over the edge.
If you feel your team settling into a comfortable routine, ask yourself, “Are we getting complacent? Are we too comfortable?” When you are complacent, you have to let go to grow. You have to be willing to purposely seek learning opportunities at the edge of your comfort zone. It’s not natural to choose to be a little uncomfortable, but the best leaders do it anyway.
Don’t be a jerk. Attack complacency.
If you want to achieve extraordinary results with class, read and apply The First Two Rules of Leadership: Don’t be Stupid. Don’t Be a Jerk. It will help improve morale, decrease turnover, increase everyone’s job satisfaction, and you will have a whole lot more fun leading.
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