Every day, I walk by an ugly green couch in our den. It’s nearly 20 years old and should have been thrown away years ago. Nevertheless, it still sits there in our den. Why? Because my family will not let me get rid of it. It may no longer be an attractive piece of furniture, but it is the most comfortable couch we own and the perfect place for a Sunday afternoon nap.
As I look at that old, ugly couch, I can’t help but think about how our leadership skills can be a little like that couch. Sometimes, we have skills that are old and outdated. We follow ideas that are no longer useful in today’s organizational culture. Yet, we are reluctant to discard those skills and ideas because they are comfortable. We know them well, and they fit. Beware!
Comfort can lead to complacency and complacency can be dangerous to leadership.
Complacency lures us into a sense that everything is fine, making us unaware of pending problems or deficiencies. Great leaders are incredibly aware of themselves and their teams. They know their values and are intentional with their actions, proactive rather than reactive. Conscious, purposeful leadership is the opposite of comfortable, complacent leadership.
Old couches may be comfortable, but old leadership skills are not. Wake up your leadership with continued development. Create a leadership library with books on pertinent leadership topics, attend workshops and conferences to understand current leadership development, and build a network of leaders to gather ideas and influence. You will find that the new can feel just as comfortable as the old.
Naptime is over; wake up and lead!