- I’ve got tired;
- I don’t have time;
- It’s too costly;
- I cannot match that speed;
- I don’t have space;
- I don’t have good resources;
- I don’t have ‘that’ title …
…are mere excuses for not getting into the execution mode. And, (the right kind of) execution separates the sheep from the goats.
Our education system is organized around compliance. Admissions, study classes, examinations are about schooling the students to follow some directives.
Many company cultures are also organized around compliance. From hiring to appraisals to training programs – all follow a certain set of known ways of doing things.
The reasoning for this appears to be that at some point, compliance transforms into measurability and measurability gives the control you always wished for.
But have you ever looked at this from this point of view that the cost of compliance is a lost opportunity for personal leadership?
Personal leadership is without a doubt one of the building blocks of phenomenal careers. In fact, it is an absolute must if making a difference is on our cards.
I wonder why compliance is considered a way to reach the mountaintop. Compliant programmers rarely become great CEOs, do they?
“If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.” ~ Proverb
“Only if you know it is the right direction,” You might argue.
If you don’t know whether the direction is right then you know what you don’t know, so start knowing what you should know.
Your destination tells you whether you are walking in the right direction or not. Refer Steven Covey, Habit #2 from The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People book: “Begin with the end in mind.”
The point is to pause and retrospect whether the direction we are taking is the right one in today’s perspective. If yes, keep on walking, if no, align your actions.
In other words: Inspect and adapt. Not very easy in most cases. Still, wiser ones keep doing that for better results.
If you have a boss who is unwilling to take you to the next ladder in your growth path because she is defending the status quo and highlighting your inability on whatever official document she uses to score, you could consider yourself as a loser.
Or you can remind yourself:
- Scores are fake, your abilities, energies, and passions are real;
- Work you produced and the person you became while producing the work is worth more than getting an agreement from the boss;
- Ability to persist against this kind of odds is a powerful ability.
- Aligning actions to find the fitment is mediocre. Instead, being able to take a stand pays off in the long run;
- If you can listen to the criticism, retrospect and learn something out of it, not being exposed to criticism is cursing.
Sometimes, reporting to a difficult boss can excel your abilities to deal with difficult situations.
Every encounter is an opportunity for learning if you make the right choice. Easier said than done.