3 Reasons Variety is Essential

Common wisdom deceives you.

You’re boring because some knucklehead said:

  1. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
  2. Leave well enough alone.
  3. Don’t mess with success.

You fall behind if you continue doing the same things, even when you’re doing great today.

Variety produces vitality. Image of a basket of flowers hanging on a dead bush.

3 reasons variety is essential:

#1. Variety produces vitality.

Useful change leads to vitality. Repetition produces ennui.

If you took Spanish in high school like I did, you might need help with ‘ennui’. It’s French. It’s pronounced ahn-wee, not en-nooie. It’s a synonym of boredom. I didn’t want to be boring so I used ‘ennui’ to build excitement.

If it ain’t broke it will become monotonous.

Defeat ennui by…

  1. Changing the way you begin or end meetings.
  2. Asking new questions.
  3. Sitting in a new spot.
  4. Eating different foods.
  5. Challenging yourself to achieve different results.  

Note: Consistency in some areas is essential, responsibility and reliability for example. In those cases, ennui be damned.

Variety produces new results. Image of a person lifting a large tire as exercise.

#2. Variety produces new results.

Consistency is a comforting misconception that leads to plateauing.

I hired a personal trainer who is an expert in functional exercise. When I was young, I lifted weights to the point of failure. If I did that today, I’d need an ambulance.

My trainer changes things up. Just about the time I get good at a new exercise he changes it. New forms of stress produce new results.

#3. Variety keeps you relevant.

You don’t get the same result when you continue doing the same thing. You become irrelevant.

Think about the Pony Express and Blockbuster. Travel agents, encyclopedia salespersons, ice cutters, and lamp lighters aren’t topics of conversation anymore either. And don’t bother applying for a knocker-up position. See a knocker-upper in action here.

How might you introduce variety into your leadership today?

What are possible problems when you change things up?

Still curious:

Overcoming the Futility of Doing the Next Thing (90 second read.)

Variety Makes Consistency Possible (90 second read.)