Risk of being comfortable. (Extends well beyond you)

Let’s face it we want comfort. We establish a vision and set of goals to reach so that one day we can be comfortable. iStock_000023362926SmallThis is really a human nature and driving need… it is also a place of danger.

What happens to us during this climb or quest to reach this set of goals? Were you energized, challenged in a good way, growing, learning, creating, and innovative? You felt alive!

In business we create processes that we hope are optimally tuned to efficiency. We perform the work with the lowest costs and least resources. In a way that is how we define success.

But what happens when we reach the comfort stage? You know that place… where you can come to work and people are happy and content, the customer is happy with your service or product, you are making your numbers and there may be a little excitement from time-to-time but nothing monumental. You have arrived.

If you have arrived or at least can visualize it, what slowed down or even stopped. Is it your innovation, your creativity, your personal growth, your energy, and passion? You may even feel frustrated or complacent.

When you become comfortable it is a goal reached. That is a really good thing, but it is also a decision point.

  • If you stay too long it can be the beginning of the end.
  • If you become uncomfortable again it can set up the next stage of your career.

Most people like the comfort so they stay just a little longer… and a little longer.

Another approach:

  1. Realize the pitfall of becoming comfortable.

Recognizing that becoming comfortable can be a place of joy and job well done. It also, should be only a short visit as staying too long can be a hazard.

  1. Just as your reach a level of comfort… celebrate it!

When you reach a place of comfort that means you have arrived, reached your goals, realized your vision and that is worthy of a celebration. This should be larger than a milestone celebration such as a difference between having a birthday celebration and a retirement party.

  1. Then very quickly set new goals and create change so that the organization does not lose momentum.

Leaders need to be prepared to follow-up the celebration with a new vision and new set of goals to reach. The goals need to be big and be a catalyst for significant change.

  1. Move on to your next role. A new leader will bring new energy to the organization.

This may mean that shortly after the celebration it is time for you to move to your next role, promotion or lateral move. Take your experience to the next organization.

What about your people?

Do leaders force comfort on our contributors? Well, yes that is the intent but are leaders implementing an injustice to the vary people that support their vision.

The key perspective is to consider that most people that support a leader do not exceed the performance of that leader. Therefore, if the leader becomes comfortable so will the contributors.

A few things to consider…

  • As leaders reach the comfort plateau so do their contributors. Once this happens people lose their edge or passion to push for results. You get less out of people.
  • People in general are not growing the way they used to so you’re losing ground with your competitors.
  • If your people want to continue to grow, but you don’t they may leave.

If you have become comfortable in your role and this post made you realized you must change? I would like to hear about it.

Please share your comments below…


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