Along the way, something starts to tug at us and the project we were so enthusiastic about, suddenly takes a back seat. Whether it is daily routine, the demanding boss, or our own habits, we can get bogged down and those special projects and interesting ideas fall by the wayside. What hurts the most, however, is that those compelling ideas, all too often, pop up somewhere else. Somebody had the audacity to put in the work, stick to it and execute. And when the adulation and rewards flood in, we sit there with our hand on our head saying “You know, that was my idea. I just got pulled in so many other directions that I couldn’t dedicate enough time to it.”
“Oh, what could have been? “Famously uttered words under our breath along with a few choice adjectives. But before the excuses pile up to validate the lack of elbow grease, maybe we should dig a little deeper and ask ourselves about the value of those types of endeavors. The fact is that special projects are often some throw away idea given to a political outsider. Or they are the “would be nice to do but…” idea that never gets any real consideration from the boss. Either way, those projects are the ones that make business come alive.
New concept should be embraced by leaders to inject culture and not for potential financial rewards. When ideas are embraced with passion from the top of an organization, then people become inspired and motivated. Those type of projects are the most important thing in both our business and personal lives. They create opportunity but, more importantly, they stimulate our minds.
Look, the reality is that many of these projects fall by the wayside because they were risky. They were the brainchild of someone thinking differently and feeling confident. But the first sign of challenge or error usually means the end is near. Ironically, those that were supremely confident in launching the project soon turn coward to the difficulties that true imagination can bring.
Why are we so damn committed to staying in our lane? Why do we work feverishly to go to school, get a degree and then jump into a wheel of monotony? I can’t imagine that when we were kids, we aspired to join a team that punched a clock and never dared to dream. No, I must believe that, regardless of the product or service, we wanted to be with other people who wanted their minds fully awake.
Why don’t we hang in there and stay tenacious? Do we fear success? Maybe, we feel like success would create more work for us. If the project got some momentum, we might be concerned that it would attract all kinds of political hyenas. More likely, we may worry that if we try something and we fail, then we’ll get fired. We simply don’t want to make a mistake and be accountable for something that’s gone wrong.
To succeed, you must be willing to break some eggs. And if you are a leader, you cannot focus on the shells. Trying is half the battle. Diving into new ideas and making big, beautiful mistakes, is where possibility lives. When we can pursue our curiosities free from condemnation, we can soar. And while I don’t guarantee success at the line-item level, I do promise a culture that will sow enrichment for all.
The people who step out of their lane and do special things, have something different about them. They have a gleam in their eyes because they believe that they will be successful, and they will find a way to get it done. They know, instinctively, that if you believe that failure Is your fate, then you’ll start looking and anticipating a way for that to occur. The human brain doesn’t want to be wrong and when you see the opportunity for failure and rejection, you’re going to migrate towards it.
The ones who get things done believe they’re entitled to success and acceptance,
and they look for opportunities to make their beliefs come true. When you see opportunities, seize them and take responsibility for your future. That is where we want to be. We want to be in organizations that encourage that mindset and we want to be there in our minds.
Go break some eggs!