Complacency is more than just a behavioral trait that we all confront at different points in our lives. Left unchecked, it can quickly spiral into a mindset that erodes our ability to grow and achieve. When the leader of a business becomes complacent, these negative behaviors become part of the workplace culture. Progress grinds to a halt, mediocrity becomes acceptable and gradually, that company’s customers will choose to take their business elsewhere.
This is obviously a worst-case scenario. However, becoming satisfied with the status quo, rather than continuously pushing your limits, can be a slippery slope. Complacency is a choice and you don’t have to travel very far down that path before it becomes difficult to return to a more disciplined way of life.
Here’s a quote from J. Paul Getty, an American-born British industrialist and founder of Getty Oil Co.: “The individual who wants to reach the top in business must appreciate the might and force of habit. He must be quick to break those habits that can break him — and hasten to adopt those practices that will become the habits that help him achieve the success he desires.”
The reality is we only get one chance to be the best person and the best leader we can be. We can’t afford to become complacent and simply let each day go by without setting goals, achieving them and then setting new goals. If we’re not trying to be the best version of ourselves each day, we’re wasting the talents and gifts that have so graciously been bestowed upon us.
Benjamin Franklin is known for sayings such as, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise,” and “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” He died more than 200 years ago, yet his values are still applicable today and serve as daily reminders to keep complacency from becoming the enemy of our soul.
We all need to make sure we eat right, find time to exercise and get a good night’s sleep. These practices contribute to our overall spiritual well-being and put us in the right mindset to be productive, both at work and away from the office.
Remember, it’s OK to stop and catch your breath from time to time. Everyone deserves to take a break once in awhile. Just don’t stop for too long. You’ve got things to do. ●
Fred Koury is President and CEO of Smart Business Network Inc.