Daily Leadership Thought #92 – It’s Easy For Complacency to Set-In

February 16, 2011

Lean Culture Part 1: Overcoming the Four Big Barriers

It is easy for complacency to set in.  Life can be challenging at times so when you hit a period of relative ease or accomplishment, the natural temptation is to step back, take a breath and relax a bit.  While there is nothing wrong with enjoying your success or happiness, you must be careful about resting on your laurels for too long.  What got you here won’t necessarily continue to propel you forward or guarantee continued success.

I am certainly wary of trumpeting the benefits of a “Type A” personality.  If you constantly push the performance envelope something will ultimately have to give and there may end up being health issues and/or relationship stresses related to your behavior.  A sense of work/life balance is important.  However, you must never get too content with the status quo.  Life and business is about reexamination, reinvention, and execution.

Pay attention to signs you may be getting stale or complacent.   Are you a source of energy and inspiration to others or a drain on their time?  Are you regularly on the lookout for new or better ways to do things or relying on solutions of the past?  Do you feel like you’ve already arrived and happy where you’ve landed or are you still intrigued by pioneering new territories? Is innovation part of your daily thinking or have you begun to run out of ideas?

There is nothing wrong with declaring victory.  Just remember not to do it too soon.  And, once you have done so and backed it up with actual results, the game is over and a new game must begin if you are to keep on playing.  New games are rarely won with strategies and tactics derived solely from past experience.