On Mediocrity


In the last couple of years, one question that I have been often pondering is—

why it is difficult for senior leaders of an organization to work in unison and achieve great things together. While there are organizations that accomplish amazing things one after another, there are many others, where leaders cannot think beyond themselves and their self-interests.

The failure, in context of the blog, is not about an organization failing financially or collapsing in terms of business. An organization can be successful yet fail to achieve great things. This is a story that I have seen, read and observed, over the years. A new senior leader joins or an existing employee is promoted to a leadership role. They want to bring positive changes (at least they think that way) and become messiah for the organization. After a couple of years, there are only little achievements to be shown, nothing big and transformative that may have been realized or accomplished.  

In this post, I am sharing some of the reasons that can lead to or cause such mediocrity. I am sure there are many more.

  1. People want me to fail, so let me avoid them
  2. Lack of mutual respect and trust
  3. People are not kept in loop in the decision making process. They are treated more like an executor. So, at the time of execution they don’t care much
  4. We don’t say sorry or explain when things go wrong
  5. This is my initiative. I want all the success
  6. Heroism is awarded
  7. No efforts to mend the relationship between two estranged leaders. It helps certain people if things remain like this.
  8. No difficult topic discussed with an open mind among the leadership
  9. Intentionally or unintentionally, a system is created that values or promotes average-way-of-working.

Once a system is created, it is tough to win against it. Because the system always wins.

Whether we like it or not, we have to work with people to get things done. If we define the better working process, there are more chances of success. For success to become meaningful, you need others to celebrate it with.  

We are not perfect and we all may have had our share of mistakes. I have made some of these mistakes myself. We are all humans after all. 

Most of us know about these things, yet we suck at achieving greatness together. 

I don’t have any advice on how to fix this. We all have to become self-aware and think about the impact of our behavior and leadership style. 

The first thing we can do is to accept the fact that we are doing something wrong and then make an effort to become more open and accepting of others. 

Most important, it is ok to share success with others. 

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