This is a reminder to myself.
But, I’m also giving you permission to consider for your life and work.
We’re at that time of year when we begin to put our plans together for the upcoming year. We’re wrapping up one calendar year and turning our excitement to all that lies ahead in the New Year. And with that comes many of the same conversations and planning patterns that we’ve done in the past. In so many cases we just keep doing the same things we’ve always done without any pause or reflection.
So, I’m giving you permission to keep this phrase in your back pocket for special occasions and important conversations, “Let’s not do that.”
Say it out loud. Liberating isn’t it?
I’m not urging you to be contrarian or a pain in the butt to work with, but I am inviting myself and everyone around me to remember that we do not need to do things exactly the same way we did them last year. I’ve watched countless leaders, teams and organizations (not to mention husbands, wives, parents, and friends) continue down the same paths without someone stepping back and saying, “So, let’s not do that this time.”
Don’t get me wrong, the good stuff — keep it going. The problem lies with the stuff that isn’t working and, in many cases, hasn’t been working for years. These are the things I’m reminding myself of and am inviting you to reflect upon too. Every relationship, team, family, and company has examples of things they keep doing that don’t reflect the best of their mission or bring about the most effective results. In so many cases we overcomplicate things when an easier option is available. But, “we’ve always done it this way.”
I’m wiping the slate clean and giving you permission to do the same. These are leadership lessons and reminders for your path ahead in the coming year. For that process at work that has become so complicated and bureaucratic — say the phrase. For that meeting that exists that you still can’t figure out why — say the phrase. For that boring annual meeting that has followed the same pattern and needs to be rejuvenated with energy and new life — say the phrase.
But, here’s the only caveat to saying the phrase. If you’re willing to say it then you need to be committed to being a part of the solution to do something different. You can’t just say it and then hide. You can’t just say it and complain. You can’t just say it and then say it’s someone else’s problem to solve. If and when you’re brave enough to utter, “So, let’s not do that” — be willing to step forward as a participant in leading positive change.
Let’s fix our eyes on continuing all of the good and life-giving efforts in our life and work and letting go of the ones that are screaming for change. Let’s infuse creativity, possibility, and leadership into all we dream for tomorrow.
Good luck on the next leg of your journey!
Jason Barger is a globally celebrated author, keynote speaker, and leadership consultant. More importantly, he’s striving to be an above average father, husband, and friend.
Follow on Twitter @JasonVBarger and learn more at JasonVBarger.com
PS. For those of you looking for more related blogs about this leadership mindset and creativity, here you go!