It’s quite easy to become complacent both personally and professionally. One hundred different quotes could be listed here, but one of the greatest hurdles that we have all experienced at some point in time is falling into the rut of conducting business as usual and expecting different results. This is one of the truest definitions of madness.

Don’t get me wrong, there are tried and true processes in every organization (and relationship) that should not be forgotten or neglected. After all, these components built the foundation for success.   An organization needs its pillars; people who run the day to day operations with enthusiastic professionalism. Anchors are needed but they should not be people who will sink the ship by not giving their best each and every day.  Sometimes, people need to be cut loose.  Those that stay understand and embrace their role as vital in helping their employer to remain steady while others work to navigate the uncharted waters of new opportunities.  They should be celebrated.

We can relate this to our personal lives as well.  We demand and deserve respect, courtesy, honesty, support, to be heard, etc.–these are givens and are the backbone of strong relationships. What we should not do is settle for routine and mediocrity. We should want some adventure and fun as well as daring to take a risk now and then.  I have said it before, who wants to be on their death bed saying “If only I done this, tried that, had more fun…”

While we recognize a strong foundation is crucial, visionary thinking is needed to propel a company or relationship to the next level.

Visionary thinking is scary, perhaps even downright terrifying at times.  Guess what?  That’s perfectly okay!  Fear helps people to work through all that might go wrong while formulating a plan for success.  Supporting employees or partners who have a passionate desire to reach beyond the mediocre and refusing to settle for status quo should be a common practice and should be equally celebrated.

Our fear of change or failure is often what squelches an organization’s leaders from wanting to explore anything that may rock the boat.  At the same time, it’s the fear of dismissal, ridicule or retribution that prevents employees from speaking up and sharing both concerns and ideas.  Who knows, the best idea for a new venture may come from the lowest person on the totem pole.  The same can be said for relationships; if your friend, partner, spouse or family continuously puts down or dismisses your ideas or fails to see the value in your perspective, routine and failure are on the horizon.

We must decide: do we want to work and live in a culture or relationship that settles for mediocrity or in a visionary culture that welcomes, promotes and supports new ways of thinking that will carry us to new, previously unimaginable heights?

If you read this blog, you surely know where I stand. How about you?