We’ve been told time and time again that curiosity killed the cat. Sure, it may be the case in a few instances. When you’re curious, dangers can arise.
But there’s something much worse that leaders should fear.
Curiosity won’t be the killer of most leaders. That falls at the feet of a true killer.
Leaders must be cautious of complacency.
What Is Complacency?
Complacency, as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary is:
Self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies
Think about the definition for a few moments. Let it sink in. Is this what you want?
The Dangers of Complacency
Leaders are called leaders for a reason. They get out there and blaze a new trail. Leaders take their staff to new heights.
As a leader YOU need to be aware of the dangers that are around you. Not to a point of paranoia but you must recognize that there are dangers you will face.
Complacency will also help you settle for average or below-average performance. It’s the status quo, after all. So it must be okay.
You mustn’t put up with average or below-average performance. This will drag the company down. Your employees down. And, eventually, your leadership down.
All one has to do is look at examples such as Circuit City.
Circuit City was at the top of the electronics game. Business was booming. Employees were happy. Life was great. What could happen?
They became complacent. They felt they had arrived. They neglected:
- The growing Apple Computers market
- Neglected the growing competition from stores like Best Buy
- Failed to improve their website
And now they’re gone.
Following the Circuit City example, you can see how complacency can kill a thriving company. Complacency stops momentum and opens you to the dangers you no longer see.
As you begin to become complacent, you open up the door for new and innovative leaders to take your spot. Or to not see the misstep you’re about to take.
Decisions become cloudy and you become unconcerned. Eventually leading your team to their death.
What can you as a leader do to avoid complacency?
- Be on the lookout for new ideas: New ideas can actually kill complacency. It opens your mind up to new possibilities. Your brain begins to process the steps you will need to take to succeed. New ideas keep you fresh and alert.
- Get rid of naysayers: What? Wouldn’t this help you stay aware of the dangers that leadership faces? Nope. Nada. NO. Naysayers will keep you in a rut of doing the same things and getting the same results. If the naysayers are unwilling to change, move them out and get people who will move the company forward.
- Create a clear purpose: Teams that know they have a clear purpose are always looking for a way to move forward and get closer to reaching their purpose. If your team doesn’t know WHY they’re there, their drive dies and complacency sets in. Create the clear purpose and make sure your team knows the purpose.
You must be ready to nip complacency in the bud. It’s a cancer to your team.
Begin looking for new ideas, rid your company of naysayers, and give your team a clear purpose. Doing this will put you on the right track.
This isn’t the end of killing complacency. It’s just the beginning. You’ll have to work on it day in and day out.
Question: How have you let complacency seep into your life? What are you doing to get it out? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.