Albert Einstein defines insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Based on this definition the typical workplace should have padded walls, a large supply of straight jackets and a special room for the occasional shock therapy session. Do you work in a place that feels like one flew over the cuckoo’s nest? Maybe you’re the one that needs to be shocked back into the real world or maybe you’re surrounded by the insanity and you just need to lay on the couch and share your frustration with a psycho analyst so you’ll feel better. Do any of these sound familiar???
Whether you’re the leader, a manager or an employee it’s critical to understand that if you want to see your career or your organization move forward then something is going to have to change or improve. You can’t continue with the insanity of doing the same old routine expecting different results. It’s also important to understand that at least 30% of your team are what we call the status quo protectors. This is the group that is so far gone that they need to be taken to the little room out back for shock therapy. But if you’re not part of that group then come on over to the couch, lay down and lets begin your therapy session.
This is actually a great time of year to stop the insanity. Most people are in a pretty good state of mind with Christmas coming and then the New Year and a chance for resolutions and positive change. But why wait until Jan. 1st for change. Let’s start today. It’s really quite simple. If you want to stop the insanity you just need to change or improve on one or two things in your daily routine and go from there. I recently heard this quote by John Maxwell, “you will never change your current pattern until you change something you do daily.”
If you’re a leader reading this, we’re not talking about starting another new program or two if you’ve proven that your last 20 programs have failed within 90 days. And yes, we know, none of the failures was your fault. We’re talking about processes and routines. What you do in your daily routine will determine where you’re headed. You must change something in the routine and the culture of the organization. It could be as simple as implementing a few non-negotialbes. Read our post on “Leadership Mayhem” for some other ideas.
If you’re a manager you can’t just lay out one more quota for your staff or continue to be the do as I say and not as I do manager. You’re going to need to manage on a daily basis. You have to change something about your daily routine. Daily one-one-one meetings (no more than 5 minutes long) with your direct reports might be a good place to start. Take a look at our blog post on the “Flu Shot” for a little more help.
If you’re an employee with an excuse for every misstep and your lack of performance or maybe you’re performing but you want to take it to an even higher level, then it’s time to make a few changes. If you look at all the failures or reasons why nothing ever gets better you may find that the one common denominator is you. If you really want to make a change in your career or see some significant improvement then it’s time to make some of those daily changes. It could be as simple as not calling your spouse 8 times a day or limiting the chatter with your coworkers or dare we suggest staying off Facebook while at work… It could be as simple as a stop doing list and then adding one or two productive items in your routine as a replacement. Possibly sending one thank you note a day that over the course of a year or more will have a major impact.
Bottom line is this… no more excuses, no more blame and no more pity parties wondering why you didn’t exceed your goals and why things are the same or worse than they were the year before. Now is the time to commit to one or two changes in the daily routine that will bring you closer to your vision and get you out of the padded room of the asylum we all call our happy place of employment.