What to do When the Things That Drove You Crazy No Longer Drive You Crazy

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Updated from July 29, 2013 post

What have you come to accept as “normal” that used to drive you crazy?

 Take a moment and think about this.

Think back to a stalled project that at one time drove you bonkers. But now you’ve just gotten used to its sluggish performance.

Think back to that section of worn out, wrinkled up carpeting in the lobby that made you cringe every time you walked by. But now you hardly notice its dilapidated condition.

Or what about the staff person whose toxic attitude infuriated you to your core? But now their ongoing negativity has just become part of the culture.

The term for what you’ve experienced is “habituation”.

And left unchecked, this can be deadly for leaders.

Habituation is natural. It occurs when a person becomes increasingly desensitized to things that used to provoke a reaction.

And chances are, you have become habituated to some things that used to drive you positively up the wall. And the more things you get habituated to, the more your organization, your church or your team is going to feel stuck.

But just as you can drift into habituation, you can also fight your way out of it.

In my experience, these are the three steps to get you started:

1.  Act like a consultant

Take a day or two, and show up at your own organization as if you are a consultant, hired to come in with fresh eyes.

There’s a good chance you’ll see more than one cringe-inducing element.

2.  Unleash your senior team

This is a great leadership team exercise. Ask your team the same question that started this post- “What have you come to accept as “normal” that used to drive you crazy?”

They’ll have a ball with this assignment. And you’ll discover a lot.

3.  Ask brave questions

Talk to people in your organization whom you can trust to give you straight answers. Ask them to point out anything that you have left unchecked for too long.

Be prepared for harsh, but important, truth.

Don’t be surprised if some of those things that used to drive you crazy are suddenly driving you crazy again.

But that’s a pretty good place to start driving change.

What have you come to accept as “normal” that used to drive you crazy?

the author

Scott Cochrane

Vice President- International, Global Leadership Network. Love Jesus, Nora, Adam & Robin, Amy, Dave, Willow & Olive and John, Fiona & Will. Lifelong learner.

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