Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Unwelcome Insights From The World Of Reality

Have you ever come to the realization you’re not who you thought you were? 

Maybe it starts as a nagging thought, gnawing at the corners of your mind like a determined beaver chewing on a tree.  The thought doesn’t fit with your internal self concept so you dismiss it.  But, like an annoying children’s song that won’t stop playing, it refuses to go away.

Maybe the realization catches you off guard, smacking you hard upside the head as you listen to a song on the radio or a speaker in church.  Maybe it screams at you in bold print from the pages of the book you’re reading.

My realization showed up last week; an unwelcome insight as I listened to a presentation by business consultant and speaker, Jim Collins.  It was a hard pill to swallow.  In fact I was tempted to hide it in my cheek and spit it out when no one was looking. 

I may have done just that, except for the fact that if I was going to retain my sanity in the upcoming months, I’d have to gulp it down and digest the loathsome thought.

I’m a self-disciplined person.  I’m an organized person.  I’m the only person I know who gets excited looking at Rubbermaid organizers and storage bins at WalMart!

Some call it obsessive compulsive.  Some use the term “anal retentive”.  Whatever label you choose, these character traits serve me well in both my work and personal life.

Enter Jim Collins with his new research into traits that allow businesses and leaders to be successful in a more competitive business environment.

He outlines three leadership behaviours exhibited by enduring companies.  The first is “Fanatic Discipline”.  I make a mental check mark.  Yup, got that one mastered!  I’m so disciplined in my work it leads to deficits in other areas of my life!

He goes on to define “Fanatic Discipline”. 

“A commitment to consistent, consecutive performance over time.” 

He contrasts this with erratic spurts of behaviour with all energy focused on pushing past your limits to get a job done, leaving you too exhausted to meet the next day’s challenge.

I’m stunned.  Crap!!!  Did he have to illustrate it so well?!?  I reflect on my travel schedule.  I pull up my calendar on the Blackberry.  I’ve been so busy I can’t remember where I’d been in the last two months.

Busted!!  My so called "organization" somehow deteriorated into erratic, inconsistent, undisciplined behaviour.  I’m paying the price in elevated stress levels and time away from family.

God is good about bringing us face to face with reality we don’t want to address.  I’m faced with the understanding that I’m no longer controlling my work schedule.  It’s controlling me.  At some point PROactive changed to REactive.

Now it’s time to slow down, reflect, re-organize, re-prioritize, and figure out how to manage more effectively going forward.

What reality is God showing you in your life?  What do you need to reflect on, re-organize, or re-prioritize?

Share your thoughts by clicking on “comments” below.


Anonymous said...

Oh, I know what mine is. This is an especially good reminder, Carol. I'm working on it. Made a real commitment today. Thanks, for the reinforcement.

Carol Henders said...

Thanks for commenting. Congratulations on taking the commitment step! Time for some "Fanatic Discipline". :)