In Leadership, Good Enough Is Pretty Bad
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The first time I meet a leader to decide if we should work together, I invariably ask one question. The answer to that question gives me an idea of whether we’ll have a productive relationship. The answer also tells me how the career of that leader might turn out.
I ask, “Are you satisfied with the results you’re getting now?”
It’s a simple enough question, yet it points to a world of difference between leaders. Because if the answer is “yes” then our meeting will be brief. We’ll quickly go our separate ways. My leadership methods can’t help a satisfied leader, a leader who lives by “good enough.” Those methods can only help if that leader has a powerful dissatisfaction with the results h/she is getting now.
To understand this, let’s go back to basics: Leaders do nothing more important than get results. If you can’t get results, you won’t be leading for long. Somebody who can get results is always waiting in line to take your place. If “good enough” is okay with you, you are the next best thing to somebody who can’t or won’t get needed results. So, “good enough” is your enemy, “powerful dissatisfaction” your benefactor.
I’m not saying that you should go around in a funk powerfully dissatisfied with everything and everyone. You’d be a royal pain. What I am saying is results should be seen not as an end in and of themselves but part of a natural process to get more. Powerful dissatisfaction does not have to be a downer. It can be a joy. The joy of having the opportunity and privilege of thinking anew and acting anew. To be powerfully dissatisfied, one must be relaxed, open, caring, and humble. Banishing “good enough”, embracing “powerful dissatisfaction” becomes a profoundly enriching way not only of being a leader but of living one’s life.
So, take a joyful, powerful dissatisfaction into your leadership activities and see the difference it makes in your interactions with others and in results.