4 Ways Complacency Will Damage Your Organization

Every leader wants to see their organizations become successful. There’s a problem that comes along with success:


That’s when you reach a level of self-satisfaction accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies. You no longer feel that urgent need to be on top of things.

Don't let complacency kill your organization

This is a scary place to be. You’re satisfied with where you are. You no longer pay attention to the dangers surrounding you. You’re vulnerable and don’t even know it.

How do I know this? Because I was there. Recently in fact.

One of my responsibilities is to maintain our system network and it’s backups. I’d checked and rechecked our system backups. They were good.

Then I stopped checking. That’s when things got bad. A perfect storm hit.

First, I was told we may have been infected with a virus. I checked and confirmed this. We were hit with the Locky ransomware.

Next, I checked our backups. Crap! They had stopped working almost a month prior.

Then, I examined the ransomware and what they wanted. They wanted 5 Bitcoins. Not a problem. We can get those. Wrong… It was a trial to get enough Bitcoins to pay the ransom.

And yet we would never have had to pay this ransom had I not become complacent with our backup system. There was a sense of over-confidence that we were up and running. We weren’t…

So, how can complacency damage your organization? Let’s check it out:

How Complacency Damages Organizations

1. We become lazy: Life coach Cheryl Matthynssens says that when complacent, the valued things that had captivated our thoughts, hearts, and energies tend to fade from priority and can even become mundane or the boring routine of everyday life. Like water, complacent people follow the easiest course — downhill.

This to me screams that we become lazy when we become complacent. We’re okay with the status quo. We’re no longer captivated with the work we do. We go downhill.

You don’t have to become complacent and lazy. You can find meaning in your work. Look for varied activities in your work. Mix it up and don’t go with the same thing day in and day out.

2. We fail to invest in ourselves: Complacency tells us that we’re okay with where we’re at. We don’t need to keep striving. We’re good.

This feeling of “I’m good here” gets us to the point where we no longer feel the need to read great books or attend conferences that will strengthen our leadership skills.

Rather, we feel we can sit back and ride the wave. Until the wave stops.

3. We no longer dream: Remember when your team was full of dreamers and builders? They were ready to tackle any task you threw at them with vigor and joy. Your team also pitched ideas like crazy.

Then it stopped. You no longer received input from the team. They went about the daily grind. The dreaming died.

This is complacency! Complacency kills dreams. Your team is robbed of thinking of the next great idea.

4. We become disgruntled: Last, and certainly not least, we become disgruntled when we become complacent. We feel that comfortable uncomfortableness.

We’re “okay” with our status but we’re not. You know?

This feeling of okay but not okay leads to feelings of disgruntledness.

You can see complacency is really an organizational killer. We need to find ways to kick complacency to the curb and get us back on the right track.

I hope it doesn’t take the perfect storm to make you realize this like it did me.

Question: What are you doing to break complancency in your organization? Let’s share our ideas in the comment section below.
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