Originally uploaded by Morlith
Too often as leaders, we get into the "comfort zone."
You know the one....go to work at the same time, do the same type of routine stuff during the day: get yanked to meetings, fight the latest fires, make excuses for lack of performance, promise to do better, really think we are doing better when we are not, hope things are set for the next 18 hours, try to go home at a reasonable time, kiss the wife, hug the kids, collapse after dinner, go to bed too late, and get up and do it all over again.
I all adds up to ineffectiveness across the board. We float along the Niagara River, up stream from the falls, kidding ourselves that since we are moving, it must be in the right direction. Here's some advice....SWIM!
Get out of the comfort zone! It's a dangerous place because laziness and complacency will never move you forward. You have to have a plan or you will always be subject to the whims of others. How do you know what's important if you don't sit down and think about it and make a plan?
"But I always get interrupted!"
"I can never stick to my plan because work is such chaos!"
"Planning doesn't work for me...I prefer to go with the flow, be flexible, you know...not get too stressed out..."
All of these are cop outs. Of course you get interrupted! You have to plan for those interruptions or they will consume you! Work is chaos because you don't know when to say "no, I can't come to that meeting because this planned item is more important...I will delegate that meeting..." And going with the flow is the guy who will ride along the Niagara until he's thrown over the falls, and as he ponders his impending doom on the way down will wonder "how did this happen?!?"
Get out of your comfort zone and do something different. For one week, plan to break with routine: come in earlier or later, leave later or earlier, plan your days instead of letting others drag you around in theirs, delegate non-essential items and ask your developing leaders to step up, try not eating at your desk for cryin' out loud! Take a walk, go for a run, sit and talk to your children about what's important to them instead of telling them what's important to you. Go out and play!
Anything to break the routine and boost yourself out of the rut. I think I heard Tony Robbins tell the joke "How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb? Answer: Just one, but it's very expensive and the light bulb really has to want to change!"
You can never really change others unless they want to change themselves. You can only change yourself. It's the only person you have complete control over, even though sometimes it doesn't feel like it. Take charge of your own life because if you don't, there are way too many people out there willing to do it for you and use you up.
GET OFF YOUR BUTT! You'll be glad you did.
p.s. if you're at a loss as to how to get started, comment here or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will help you get going.