“It’s hard to live a compliant lifestyle when you’re committed.”
I shared this quote with a friend of mine who was explaining her frustration with the job she is currently in. She is one of the most committed people I have ever known and in her position she is known as the “go-to gal” who holds a role where many other people depend on her for support in varying activities. She is positive, upbeat and encouraging to the coworkers around her, but at times she is seen as difficult to work with… especially from her boss.
She doesn’t always accept things for the way they currently are. She challenges the status quo. She pushes back. She analyzes processes and creates new ways to do them better, more efficiently and with higher cost savings. She wants nothing but the best for her work group and the overall organization. This is fantastic for the company, but not necessarily fantastic for her supervisor. The pushing back and challenging conversations do not always sit well with those around her who like the old ways of doing things. She makes them stop and think. She makes them uncomfortable. She pushes to change their mindsets.
This passionate mentality makes my friend struggle with her team and her boss and as a result, this committed performer is being forced into a compliant lifestyle. In fact, this committed performer struggles so much with her compliant lifestyle that she now has a new thing that she is committed to…finding a new job.
Change is difficult for many of us and when we have been living in a consistent culture for many years, it is extremely challenging to step outside of our comfort zones to see what new possibilities are before us.
Winning Leaders however, seek out individuals like my friend. They embrace the new ideas and challenges to old behaviors. They support individualistic thinking. They understand that, while they might not be able to adopt all of the new ideas, these are the people who can breathe new life into old cultures and create newer, better, and more successful tactics or behaviors that can deliver winning results.
There are plenty of formally compliant people around. Many of these team members are good, solid, hard-working folks who punch in at 8:00 and out at 5:00 and are content to do the very best they can throughout the day. They are good soldiers. They may even be genuinely compliant and ask for additional things to do that could help the organization. Conversely, there are also plenty of non-compliant or grudgingly compliant people around as well. These people either intentionally choose not to do their job or they do it while complaining every step of the way. The truly committed person is far rarer and much more valuable in the workplace.
Winning Leaders understand their role in removing the non-compliant and grudgingly compliant team members quickly and effectively and they understand their role in developing and encouraging the formally and genuinely compliant people to perform at higher and higher levels. What makes the Winning Leaders continue to win in the longer term however, is their ability to identify, embrace, and support those on the team who have the high Commitment levels. They eagerly accept the people at these levels and view their challenges and new ideas as being fresh lights in the organization. They reach out and ask their opinions and then take action on the ones that have the potential to be really great. They recognize, publicly and privately, those team members who have the courage to stand up and suggest new ideas and better improvements. Winning Leaders don’t back down when faced with resistance from the rest of the group who are afraid to change and they push even harder with a bright optimism of the future.
Winning Leaders encourage and support challenges to the status quo. They create a culture of commitment. It is through this committed lifestyle that they win.