In High School, I had to read the “classic” existentialist piece by Samuel Beckett entitled: Waiting for Godot. The read was as dry as a scorcher on the Arizona Desert.
The storyline, in case you haven’t read it is simple:
Two guys on a park bench waiting for someone who never shows up.
Sound familiar? While the book is not on my personal all time favorite read list, it does provide an illustration of something all too common in our corporate & personal lives.
Too many of us (myself included) have spent time on the preverbial park bench waiting for someone else to fix something, for someone else to make a situation right. We sit and we stew, we sit and we stew. They, like Godot, never seem to show up to make it right and we and we alone, continue to pay a price for our silent inaction on the bench.
The cost to corporate productivity and personal satisfaction is huge.
I’ve seen employees grumble through 15 years of employment with a company waiting for the company to make it right for them.
I’ve seen family members put their lives on hold seeking the affection of another family member, only to have it never returned and have the potential of THEIR life slip away.
Any extended period of time sitting on the bench and the only person who loses is us. Realistically, the person we have expectations of isn’t acting in a positive way because either:
1) Even though we assume they must, the reality is they don’t know what it is we expect so don’t have a chance in Lotto 649 of giving it to us.
2) They can’t or won’t do it for a number of reasons, usually none of which are personal to us.
One principle of leadership is this: You can’t change people. You can however, have extraordinary influence on the people around you by changing the only thing you can change which is: YOURSELF.
It means getting off the park bench and taking personal responsibility for the things that are important to us and realizing nobody can stop us from our goals unless we let them.
It means always trying to communicate for understanding upfront to eliminate Reason 1 as to why your not getting what you want.
It means standing up for the things that are important to us and not hanging around those who don’t respect that for long periods of time.
It means recognizing that if we choose to change nothing, then very likely nothing will change.
The choice is ours and ours alone. There will be tons of people willing to help once we make it, but we need to take that first step towards our goals.
So.. the question of the day is:
What are you waiting for?
Have a great week!
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