Paranoid is good…

“Success breeds complacency.  Complacency breeds failure.  Only the paranoid survive.”

Andy Grove

The minute you think you have arrived, that you think you can lay back and relax because you have accomplished your goal, that is the minute you start to slide towards complacency and irrelevance. Complacency scares me more than almost anything else. Complacency means that you don’t care deeply and passionately and that goes against every fiber of my being. But how do you make sure that you pause long enough to recognize success?

I know that I struggle to slow down long enough to celebrate success. When something is achieved I immediately begin thinking of the next thing, the next goal. How do you ensure that you pause long enough when achieving some level of success but not become comfortable there? What is the appropriate about of time to celebrate success before starting towards the next journey?

I follow the principle “celebrate a win for a day, then get back to work.” Numerous people have talked and written about this and it has worked for me. What works for you?

Are you satisfied?

“The minute you’re satisfied with where you are, you aren’t there anymore.”

Tony Gwynn

There is a fine line between satisfaction and complacency; and complacency is the enemy of growth and change.  If you are satisfied with 90% today, then will 75% be good enough tomorrow?  Being satisfied becomes a downward spiral if you don’t guard against it with almost religious fervor.  

Great things become great because someone was never satisfied with the results and continually sought for ways to make it better.  They never settled and were complacent about the results.  

The question is, if you are doing something, and are merely satisfied with the outcome, should you be doing it all?

Complacency = Death

“A higher rate of urgency does not imply ever-present panic, anxiety, or fear. It means a state in which complacency is virtually absent.”

John P. Kotter

It always amazes me how many points can be scored in a football game during the last two minutes.  When the pressure is on, and time is of the essence, great teams step up and score points.  The 2-minute drill highlights what a team is capable of when acting with urgency and removing any and all complacency from their behaviors.  

I have long believed that a sense of complacency is the most dangerous thing that a person or a team can ever develop.  The dictionary definition of complacency is, “a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some potential danger, defect, or the like; self-satisfaction or smug satisfaction with an existing situation, condition, etc.”

Complacency scares me to death…

Operating with a sense of urgency is a natural guard against complacency.  Living with a sense of urgency shows up in the little things in life.  Watch people and you can tell those that bring a sense of urgency to all aspects of their lives.  You can see it in how they walk, how they respond to questions, what decisions they make, etc.

Urgency isn’t fear.   Urgency is moving and acting with intense purpose and drive because that’s how you choose to live.  

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