In Change, Leaders, Vision

“I worry that our lives are like soap operas. We can go for months and not tune in to them, then six months later we look in and the same stuff is still going on.” – Jane Wagner

I have a good friend who regularly talks about companies having ‘groundhog years’. What he means is that a lot of leaders of companies know they should probably make some change or do something different or strategic, but in the end they just do the same thing they did last year, with the same results. And they do that over, and over, and over again.

There are probably lots of reasons why that happens, but here are my favorites:

Good is good enough. The reality is that, despite what people say to sound good in public, most people are OK being somewhere between mediocre and pretty good. They aren’t really passionate, they feel OK financially, they don’t like the idea of working any harder, so they convince themselves that this is as good as it gets and don’t even consider the possibility of more.

They’re non-leader leaders. In other words, all they’re really concerned about is getting done some day-to-day tasks so they can feel like they were productive. They don’t spend any time thinking about the future (unless it’s to ponder how scary it is). They don’t spend any time creating a clear picture of WHERE they want to be. They just put their heads down and work.

They don’t have enough help. Too many leaders at too many businesses end up wearing so many hats that they never get around to thinking about the future and change. They’re part sales, part marketing, part HR, part IT, part whatever else they need to be – and no parts change.

I could probably make a longer list, but you get the idea. So are any of those you? Rarely will anybody admit to #1, but it’s very common. Ask yourself what you’re satisfied with. Are you content with being mediocre? There’s nothing wrong with being content with your life, but wouldn’t it be great if it was better?

The other two are similar. At some point, if you aren’t getting the job done (and change is the biggest part of the job), maybe you need to find some support. Asking for help doesn’t make you a bad leader – the help will make you a better leader.

Is your business experiencing ‘groundhog years’? Do you have a hunch that there should be something better or different, but you haven’t made it happen yet? End the do-overs & do something about it – today.

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