Complacency: The Opposite of Leadership

From Alex and Brett Harris’ Do Hard Things, quoting the daily periodical Bits & Pieces:

Complacency is a blight that saps energy, dulls attitudes, and causes a drain on the brain. The first symptom is satisfaction with things as they are. The second is rejection of things as they might be: “Good enough” becomes today’s watchword and tomorrow’s standard.

Complacency makes people fear the unknown, mistrust the untried, and abhor the new. Like water, complacent people follow the easiest course — downhill. They draw false strength from looking back.

You’ll notice something interesting: Everything about complacency is the opposite of leadership.

Leadership inspires energy; complacency saps it.

Leadership enlivens attitudes; complacency dulls them.

Leadership energizes you to think hard; complacency is a brain drain.

Leadership is not satisfied with the problems and wrongs of the current situation; complacency says “OK.”

Leadership rallies people to a better future; complacency says “things can’t change; let’s stay here.”

Leadership challenges you with high expectations; complacency is content with “good enough.”

Leadership provides clarity and hope; complacency fears the unknown.

Leadership takes risks and is willing even to make excellent mistakes; complacency fears the untried and is not only unwilling to risk, but scoffs at it.

Leadership motivates people to endure challenges and difficulty to get to where they are going; complacency refuses to challenge the status quo or do hard things.

Leadership is energized by looking to the future; complacency seeks to take a nap in the present, even when it is full of need and opportunity.

But, like leadership, complacency is diligent. It is diligent in its commitment to prevent change and do nothing. At the heart of complacency is a militant commitment to mediocrity that scoffs at the notion that things can be better. And that is the worst thing of all.

September 28, 2011 | Filed Under Leadership | 1 Comment 

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