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Exceed the Status Quo

Did you ever get into a rut? Like struggling in a pit of quicksand, the harder you try to get out, the deeper you sink. The harder you work at trying to implement performance pay, the further away you get. And, if your own effort isn’t enough of an obstacle, you seemingly have an army of imaginary and some not so imaginary rapscallions greasing the walls of your ever-deepening rut.

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Thought Leaders

Just exactly what is a thought leader? I’d always had this image of wisely whitebeards doling out visions of the near future while effortlessly articulating brilliance that kept folks like myself scrambling for dictionaries and Google in a mad dash to understand.

And then someone introduced me as a thought leader. About the only semblance I have of that image is every once in awhile you’ll catch me with a white beard.

While exploring for a better thought leader self-image, I came upon this article by Sonia Simone, “Why You Don’t Need to be a Thought Leader”.

I suspect that Sonia’s image has been forever altered by Slick Willy thought leader blowhards and wannabes. Driven by ego and charisma, their message mesmerizes listeners into cult-like trances as it glazes over substance.

The term thought leader is another one of those overused buzzwords that the Slick Willy’s branded out of good standing.

Sonia says:

“We don’t actually need a bunch of new thoughts. We need to pursue and implement the existing thoughts that make sense.”

The problem is, while in pursuit and implementation, we do the same things over and over. And when those same things aren’t working, the rut deepens.

Perhaps we do need some new thoughts. Perhaps we need them in order to look at the problem from a different perspective. Perhaps we need a different source of motivation.

Your company has a set of core values. You and your team do a fairly decent job of navigating the company by them. So much so that your coworkers are at least aware of them. In rolling out your performance pay system one or more of your core values come into conflict. Maybe, in your haste to get it implemented, you overemphasized the point of how good it’ll be for your company and underemphasized the benefits to your service techs.

By equally tying together the program and its benefits to both, the rut greasing stops and your implementation is a success.

How did that happen?

As it was, you read an article written by someone outside of your industry. His approach caused you to look at your challenge from a slightly different perspective. If you read Sonia’s article this thinking falls under:

“The first is to repackage old advice in a sparkly new wrapper. Marketers have done this forever, and I don’t actually have a problem with it. New wrappers make things more interesting, and that gets us to pay fresh attention to those darned fundamentals”

Instead of labeling it new thoughts perhaps we should say shine a different light or change tactics or approach differently.


Sonia goes on to say:

“Might it not be useful to determine our paths for ourselves, based on our own observations and intelligence, reflecting our individual experiences, striving to see the larger picture, and weighing the informed opinions of actual authorities who back their assertions with credible evidence?”

I am in agreement with all Sonia has to say with one slightly different view. While we’re in pursuit of determining our paths (and other business activities), we get into ruts. This is where that different approach can melt the grease away from the walls of your rut.

There is a correlation between these ruts and neural pathways. Neural pathways are a series of connected neurons that facilitate sending signals between different regions in the brain. Pathways grow and diminish based upon use. Change and freshness keeps the grease to a minimum and routine deepens the chasm.

In the near future here we’ll explore the field of Neuroscience and its relationship with business and marketing. It’s fascinating science that illustrates things we say aren’t congruent with how we really feel, reasons we buy stuff aren’t always as apparent as we might think and subtle environmental factors drive not so subtle results.

Topics: Building a Business, Goal Setting, Motivation

Posted by Dave Rothacker on Apr 16, 2017 5:00:00 AM

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