“Nothing is more terrifying to me, really, than the status quo. I’ll make mistakes before I keep doing something the same way.” ~ Twyla Tharp
A few years ago, I was engaged to work with a leader of a large business who wasn’t performing well. It was like he had accepted his fate. He had decided he was too busy to handle his workload and there wasn’t much he could do about it. He had accepted his busyness as ‘fait accompli’. That was who he was – busy!
He’d stuck his head in the sand and accepted the status quo. His results reflected his attitude — they were poor to say the very least. His team also reflected his attitude, they were directionless and disengaged. The turnover rate in his business was very high, which should have signaled alarm bells for him. His leadership had not just become irrelevant, but also reckless.
The status quo is the danger zone.
Acceptance of the status quo is a direct result of how distracted, exhausted and busy we are. We don’t feel like we have the energy to handle any changes in our business or market, let alone to lead others through it. So we switch on autopilot and remain as is. The problem is that in times like these, as a leader, it is imperative that we evolve our thoughts, assess our strategies and goals, work hard to motivate our team and ensure we remain relevant in the marketplace.
We are coming very close to the end of 2016. What has happened this year has happened. How you lead, how you handled busy, how relevant and influential you were is done. You can’t change what has happened this year. It is what it is.
What you can change is how you operate in 2017. And to be an engaging, inclusive and influential leader you can’t afford to be just ‘busy’ and stuck in the status quo. You need to be busy with a relevant and powerful purpose.
So what needs to change for you next year? What do you need to focus on? How will you be as a leader? How can you avoid the status quo?
Pertinent questions for this time of year and important to reflect on what has been and what could have been if busy was avoided and stopped being used as an excuse.
When the leader I referenced at the beginning of the blog decided to stop identifying himself as busy and changed his focus to something much more empowering things improved dramatically for him. He took back control and started to be an engaging leader. He made time for his team, he built relationships, he used his time much more effectively and he turned a very poor performing business into a profitable one. It doesn’t take much but it does start with you and what you believe to be true for you as a leader.