Hands up – how many of you sat around the Thanksgiving table and professed thanks for the gifts you’ve been given while secretly wishing for something more? What do I mean? Oh you know – maybe more money, more ability at something, better looks? I mean – how many of you at some point wanted to be…um..Tiger? And how many of you would want to be in his shoes today? Not me, thanks.
At some point we’re all wanting something better than we have. Professionally, maybe a better business. A better staff to run it. So we make changes – a reorganization, some firings and new bodies that we just know will do better. But how often does that turn out to be mostly a loss of institutional knowledge, a loss of customer relationships and numbers that aren’t appreciably better? More often than we admit.
I’m the first guy to say we can’t get complacent. I’m also the first guy to say that big changes can mean big problems if we’re making them just for the sake of change itself. I’ve been in meetings where the outcome is determined before the participants walk into the room. Opinions are sought and ignored. Minds were made up before everyone sat down and even though an accurate reading of the situation came out of the meeting, plans were made that ignored that reading, subordinated to the feeling that wanting “more” translated into actions not supported by the facts.
You want to be Tiger? What did you know about him two weeks ago other than he is a great golfer and had made a lot of money? Not much because that’s how he wanted it. The problems that were obviously there were not visible to you. You want to be better than a competitor? What do you really know about how their success happens?
Be careful what you wish for. Or maybe I should say be careful what you work for. The grass isn’t always greener especially if you’re not looking carefully enough to know it’s not real grass.