My theory is this – not enough people take the pieces of their job seriously

Sheldon; Let's Get SeriousI have a theory. It’s this: not enough people take the pieces of their job seriously.

For example: a lot of people complain about meetings. Too many meetings!, they say. Unfocused meetings! These are legitimate complaints, but some seem to imply that we should just get rid of meetings. Dumb idea! There is no success without meetings – a good, consistent, rhythm of meetings; meetings that are well run and serve their very good purpose. If your meetings leave you frustrated and disappointed, fix them!

Or, take the practice of doing a “SWOT Analysis.” You know,

What are our strengths?
What are our weaknesses?
What are the threats we face?
What are our opportunities that we should capitalize on?

Well, the terrain is littered with companies that simply did not see the threats coming. I wonder how many SWOT Analysis gatherings the leaders of those companies went thorough? My hunch is this – they did not take the sessions seriously.

I guess the point of this post is simple: take each piece of your work seriously.

Do you have an upcoming meeting? Take it seriously; make it a really good meeting!

Are you reading a book right now? Take your job, of reading books to learn, seriously! Take notes; evaluate your own productiveness; implement what you learn.

Have you taken part in a SWOT analysis session? Have you got another one coming up? (Maybe you should initiate the session).   Don’t go through the motions. Don’t ever go through the motions! Take it seriously – really seriously.

I’ve read a fair amount about the decline of Yahoo lately. And plenty about other stories of decline (like; Kodak; Circuit City; the list is long, isn’t it?…). . Here are the concluding lines from this article, Yahoo’s death bell was rung nearly 20 years ago:

They say “Pride cometh before the fall” and this was very much the case at Yahoo – their hubris bred complacency, which led to a loss of focus. In turn, this caused them to lose market share to competitors who remained on the ball and, ultimately, fall out of the spotlight. Though people are only hearing it today, the death-knell for Yahoo as sounded nearly 20 years ago. A constant desire to improve and the ability to keep growing organizations on track are sometimes difficult, especially during good times, but they’ll ensure your business succeeds in the long haul.

Yes, all that is true. And, in order to fight against hubris, against foolish arrogance, and maintain focus, key people have to take each piece of their work seriously. Every day. Each and every piece of their work!

Do you? Take the pieces of your work seriously?


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