Most people don’t want to actually get better. Scratch that. Most people want to get better, as long as it doesn’t require additional work and discomfort. Which means what they want to hear is this,
“You are doing everything that can be done. Improved performance is not possible. So keep doing what you are already doing. Anything negative is not your fault and outside any controllable variable.”
This also means that any message to the contrary is obviously wrong and frustrating. I run into these people daily. And they occupy all positions, from school board member to classroom teacher. We’ll call these people “Group 1.”
There are some people who view every peak as a new baseline. They cannot abide with the status quo. They look for every edge, every angle, every small opportunity to eke out a little more performance. They question everything and everything is always in draft stage. Which means they want to hear this,
“What if you tried this? What if we chased a different target? How can you control the uncontrollable variable? What if the answer is the Kobayashi Maru?”
This also means that any message to the contrary is defeatist and frustrating. I don’t run into these people as often, weekly instead of daily. And they occupy all positions, from school board member to classroom teacher. We’ll call these people “Group 2.”
Both groups naturally frustrate each other. And neither group is going away. So, here are two things to consider.
1. If you are from one of groups and your boss is from the other group, you will be frustrated. That is your problem, not your boss’ problem. Learn to live with it or get another boss.
2. If you are from Group 1 and you are a boss, in the long run, you are the limit to the organization’s ceiling.
Think. Work. Achieve.
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