Four things to stop in order to fuel momentum
Stagnation is normal – persistent progress and forward momentum exceptional. Pretending, complaining, avoiding, and limiting won’t fuel progress.
Stop pretending you want change when in reality you want comfort.
Usually comfort and change run contrary to each other. Backward facing leadership takes less effort, less courage, and less creativity.
General Shinseki wisely observed, “If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.”
Your best option is growing comfortable with constant change.
Complaining is comfortable self-confirmation.
In the short-term complain is fun and provides the façade of power. Change is deceptively difficult; easy to talk but hard to do. Complaining is joyfully easy.
Creating is courageous disruption and dangerous self-expression. Complaining may instigate change but it won’t sustain it.
Forward facing leaders always encounter conflict, resistance, arm chair quarterbacks, disagreement, fear of failure, and more.
Forward movement and uncomfortable conversations go hand in hand. You cannot and should not avoid them.
Conflict and resistance can’t validate or justify your direction. They are, however, evidence of movement. Face, embrace, and learn from them.
Complex problems have more than one solution.
Perfecting a solution is a fault-finding process. You bombard an option with imagined scenarios and anticipated problems looking for faults. There’s value in the process but it won’t create a perfect response to high-potential opportunities. There’s more than one.
Analyze, investigate, evaluate; then pick one solution and perfect it as you go. Searching for one perfect solution before pulling the trigger slows progress and drains momentum.
Momentum requires courage, focus and fuel or it cools. Which of these things can you stop today in order to keep moving forward?
What can leaders stop in order to keep moving forward?
I think one thing that we can stop doing is surrounding ourselves with people that we don’t want to listen to. Whether it be our team or the colleagues we hang around. Garbage in, garbage out.
From a team perspective, I’ve realized that I am not the smartest person in my organization. I need to continually empower my people to come up with ideas that help the organization grow, but also themselves.
Regarding our fellow leaders, there is a tendency to get together and talk about how bad things are or how “The Man” is keeping us down. It’s hard, but we need to break out of that environment and find people who are willing to build each other up so that we can all be successful leaders.
Thanks for another great post.
Surrounding ourselves with people instills comfort among them in approaching me and it enables them to share their problems and needs frankly. But we need to be very careful that our true nature dosen’t changes for the sake of attracting people or even to keep them with in our control, here I mean to convey that we should not Pretend, be ourselves.
If you approach has flaws we can rectify those, if our approach are perfect we need to wait and give time for people to understand.
Thanks for jumping in on this one. Great idea.
If you can find someone thats excited to see you succeed you’ve found a treasure.
Best to you,
I agree the steps suggested to progress success. I always try to introspect, analyse and learn the ways to improve because I believe it is continuous process and every moment you learn something. I agree that complaining comes naturally and I would try to stop it.
I think leaders can stop thinking and keeping the things in mind that have no relations with success and hinder personal time and energy. Many a times we consume so much energy discussing the attitude and behaviour of others. In the process, we waste our time. The other things, that leaders can stop is to increase tolerance power. Weak tolerance power decreases confidence. When we hear something that is contrary to our belief or ideology, we ususally questions others why he said so. It means being resilient is needed for leaders.
I strongly believe that “Comparing ” is perhaps enemey to success. When we compare with others, we might take actions that is against our values and many times we tend to compromise. So, believe what you do and do what you believe.
Comparing with self is healthy. We can see our progress and compare it from past to present and predict for future.
Two things people can not stand “the way things are” and “change”. Oh it is true. The resistance to change and effort to push against forward momentum are pervasive in our society. It can be the church organization or your kids in school. We limit ourselves in most cases. Listening to the oh you can’t do that or oh I could never do that. I myself have had many circumstances where I have walked away from something because of the naysayers. I am learning not to do that. Keeping your forward momentum in your particular circumstance is difficult sometimes. You must choose another path or find supporters that will help you (or your group) achieve your goals. Change can be a challenge for anyone. Some can embrace and enjoy it. Some shrink from it. We learn to seek the comfort zone from birth. It will not be natural to want change. It is something you must learn and practice. Good advice Dan. These are a great guideline to practice and hone the skill of creating positive change. Think I will make this a poster on my wall!!!
What can leaders stop in order to keep moving forward? The four things you have chosen are all good ones! One I would add, and it overlaps into your four in significant ways, is “stop assuming.” I have seen several leaders who I thoroughly respected, and who almost all acquainted with would agree were competent and accomplished, be “relieved” of their positions for a variety of stated reasons. The “don’t assume” relates to the fact that they may have assumed their good political position and good track record guaranteed longevity. So being attuned to shifting winds politically and administratively is always a good idea.
Thanks for this timely post.
Understanding that one must have difficult conversations from time to time is very important if we are going to be successful as leaders. Ultimately, we are doing people a favor when we bring areas of weakness into the discussion. Pretending that things will change on their own does no one any good at all.
Sorry for the broken profile link. Should be kerrypalmer.com .
Well said Mr Rockwell. Pretty much sums up “we have met the enemy and he is us”. All we have got to do is get out of our own way – by being honest with ourselves and…
Great post my friend.
Which can I stop doing today? “Complex problems have more than one solution.” Stop Avoiding sounds like the ‘frog’ I need to eat (Brian Tracy).
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I think that as leaders we need to stop seeing things as either/or. We are all perspectival creatures, but we can seek to reach out and learn the perspectives of the “other.”
We need to create diverse and inclusive work spaces that allow for deep, authentic dialogue between associates who all vary culturally, cognitively and in giftedness. Then when people disagree with our opinions as leaders, we step back and search for understanding.
As leaders we need to live in a state of liminality where we stand in the gap, ask questions, facilitate and humble ourselves to the point where the space is created where relationships are created, sustained and the organization moves forward.
Props for liminality usage asdungan! Wow!!
I read a contextual theology book once and the woman writing it was Korean. The author was talking about the DMZ in the text and about her move to America. She spoke about how when she moved to America she moved into a “third space,” neither here nor there; into liminality.
The book made me recognize that we have many people in America that feel very lost and alone.
What can leaders stop in order to keep moving forward?
Stop the madness…oh wait, someone already made $$ off of that one.
Not to be contrary, okay, maybe a little, what can leaders start?
Start looking into that mirror, yep that one that is uncomfortable, but necessary. What do you see in others that you think needs changing, needs unsettling, needs less complaining…are you doing it too?
Start leaning into the uncomfortable situations, stretch your ‘comfort’ zone. If you are leaning, make sure you fall forward and learn, rather than backward and whine (the latter is much easier).
Start telling yourself the box you think you created, that you led, really isn’t a box, perhaps it is more a building with bars, plan your deconstruction, escape or at least your addition to what you have.
Start asking for assistance with a gnarly challenge…even if you can deal with it.
Start asking questions.
And most importantly, start listening more(…not to yourself!) Others might even start telling you what you can stop! ;0
Heck yes Doc.
All of what you said I want to eat. Literally!
Good simple points to avoid while working towards progress. But difficult to practice! The practical tip could be work consistently and contribute by performing your duties with diligence.
One need not remain silent if there is injustice and the work environment is not conducive. A determined and self-motivated person will find out practical ways to succeed even with complaining. Other things like pretending, avoiding and limiting are certainly not desirable and should not form part of daily habits.
These are wonderful points that many people need to understand. Thanks a lot for bringing them up. Best regards!
Your “stop pretending” point really made me realize that I, too, sometimes look for change but really am comfortable with the static situation.
While it’s true you can’t always encourage change, as it can at time be even counterproductive, sometimes you just HAVE to, and it’s important to realize wether you’re doing it just to “sound cool” or because you really believe in it.
Complaining has always been one of those things which make me curious. I like to complain too, but I do realize that it’s often faster and a lot easier to fix things rather than complain about them.
Limiting is very typical for leaders who just trust their own opinion and not their employees’ one. When I see something as impossible, and then I “summon” my programmers, it suddenly becomes very easy, or at least doable.
If you trusted the people around you enough to let them be around you, be sure to involve them more often in your leadership, you really won’t regret it.
Leaders can stop stopping. Leaders, have a backbone and do what needs to be done.
I’ll be sharing this with a few other leaders I know. Thanks!
What a great post! It is simple, to the point, and gets right to the matter of unmasking the things that get in the way momentum. I like the “stop complaining” section in particular. It is so true that the engagement in complaining gives the complainers the facade of power, and it is simply easier to complain (and do nothing) than it is to put in the effort to make positive change and improvement.
Thanks for leaving your first comment on Leadership Freak. I love the conversation. It’s wonderful that you joined in.
We are on the same page…as a recovering complainer, I know what its all about.
You are so right about this: “Complex problems have more than one solution.”
I have seen more people (myself included) stopped because they have not found the single perfect silver bullet.
Thanks for the reminder.
And thanks for the encouraging affirmation. It feels good to be useful.
Loved the post. A friend and I were talking a few weeks ago and said that a no opens the door to many, many solutions. I thought about that when I read #4. Stop limiting. Powerful words my friend.
Stop blaming others for being obstacles.
Putting your constituents down for throwing up obstacles to hinder change. Look at them as opportunities to refine your change process, to better tune it so that all feel only slightly uncomfortable. Discomfort is necessary for a higher level. But not allowing others to experience their chaos and supporting them with it, is not leading. It is condescension.