In Action, Change, Leaders

“People learn something every day, and a lot of times it’s that what they learned the day before was wrong.” – Bill Vaughan

In general, most people like stability.  We want to wake up in the morning and know we can count on certain things to be the same way they were yesterday.  People will act the same, the environment we’re in will be the same, etc.  We like to know the rules of the game we’re playing.

These days it feels like the rules are changing constantly.  We wake up in the morning and very few things seem the same way as yesterday.  It feels like there is so much change so quickly that the ground under our feet is always moving.  And it’s scary.

The trick isn’t to figure out how to make the ground stop moving.  There are too many things that we can’t control.  We have no say over the weather, or the economy, or what other people say and do, or any number of other things.  The ground will always be shifting.

The trick is to get comfortable on shifting ground.  As leaders, we need to be comfortable being uncomfortable.  We can’t be so addicted to stability that we try to force stability where there really isn’t any.  Sometimes so want things to be reliable and dependable that we cling to behaviors or beliefs that are no longer relevant.  In the end, that doesn’t actually make things more stable.  It just makes it harder to stand up straight while everything’s shifting.

Think about your organization.  What beliefs or behaviors are you hanging on to that are no longer relevant or meaningful?  What assumptions are you making that need to be challenged?  So many leaders spend so much energy in 2024 trying to recreate the success of 2014, or 2004, or even earlier.  It’s just not possible.

Ask your leadership team a simple question:  If we were starting this business from scratch today, what would that look like?  What would an organization have to be in order to be perfectly designed for success now, or next year, or three years from now?  Who would you serve?  What kinds of products & services would you offer?  What kind of people would you hire?  What would you need those people to know and do?

Think about the answers to those questions.  Don’t use the “we’ve never done it that way” or “that’s not how we do things around here” excuse.  If you’ve never done it that way, then maybe you need to change how you’re doing it.  Get comfortable being uncomfortable.


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