Thursday, March 31, 2011

No More Repeated Yesterdays

"Choose the road that demands the most from you."

Danny Cox

Charlie’s story from my last blog brings me back to one of the most important lessons I learned during that time of my life. Here it is. Everyday we stand at what some people call the "crossroads of life" but its not really a square cross in the road but a Y in the road. One of the roads leads to sameness and boredom and the other to growth, development and enthusiasm.

So each day ask yourself this question, “Am I doing the best at my job, or am I doing it the way I’ve always done it?” When you know the answer to that question, then you know where that road leads. More often than not, it leads right back to where you were the day before. Instead of taking that tricky right turn, the one that leads to new growth, you find yourself going around in a very familiar circle.

I call that “repeating yesterday.” (We’ll be examining that idea in more depth in a later blog.) This “repeating yesterday” formula is a phenomenon that’s true of companies as well as people—in fact, it would make a pretty good logo for some organizations. These are the companies that I refer to as “Plunging into the future with their eyes affixed to the rear view mirror—they are tradition-centered and unhampered by progress.” They don’t get worked up about new goals; a fair number of them have no goals whatsoever.

Immediate Action: Make photocopies of this “repeating yesterday” diagram, and place them in strategic locations in your home, your office, and on the dashboard of your car to remind yourself of which way you want to go.

Point to Ponder Before You Go On: A love of tradition for its own sake is what I call “nostalgic paralysis”—and it’s a sure-fire recipe for stagnation, inefficiency and burnout.".