Knowing “everyone’s in the same boat” paralyzes instincts to adjust the sails. Commiserating creates false teams. Misery with company is miserable. Solve problems instead.
The more painful the situation, the easier it is to believe that everyone is right. “This can’t be fixed.” “The guy’s a jerk.” “The system is flawed.” Everyone knows it.
Become a clever complainer and they’ll elect you to captain the co-misery ship. Sailing the bandwagon in the same miserable direction isn’t leadership.
5 Opportunities to Rise Above Everyone
Leaders who fall into “everyone” traps diminish their power. Rise above. Seize opportunities to be someone in a sea of everyones.
- Everyone hates the boss – Okay, hopefully that’s not where your team is stuck. But it happens. Groupthink makes even nice guys look mean.
If you think your boss is a jerk, and everyone else does too, I challenge you to go deeper. Get to know her. Tell her the truth. If everybody’s frustrated, she knows it. Chances are, under all that crap, she is starving for help. Don’t bring the band or the wagon. Someone will speak the truth without emotion. Why not you?
- Everyone is struggling to achieve results – Self-delusion loves support. When everybody’s stuck, “clearly nothing more can be done.” Don’t succumb to excuses. Try new approaches. Leverage the bandwagon’s energy to brainstorm solutions. Someone will breakthrough. Why not you?
- Everyone does it this way – It may even be called a best practice. It’s working, but you know it could be better. It’s risky to try. No one expects new solutions. You have ideas, but why rock the boat? Leaders disrupt good for better. Someone will. Why not you?
- Everyone is exhausted – Tough one. Leading well from exhausted takes energy and there’s the rub. Find some. In the thick of the stress, stepping back seems insane. Do it anyway. Someone needs to. Someone will. Why not you?
- Everyone is looking for a new job – It depends why they’re looking. Either way, those looking elsewhere are distracted. If you chose to re-commit and excel you will stand out in the midst of distraction. Someone’s career will grow. Why not you?