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Ideal Isn't Ideal
by Marnie Green

Personally and professionally many of us have been content with the status quo. And it's worked for us. I know you are saying, "Hey wait! I'm innovative!" and you probably are in many ways. Still, we are now presented with opportunities to reinvent our world like never before. Let's take a look at the commonly held beliefs that we've always assumed were the pathway to success. For example, we've been told that:

• Our home is our biggest investment
• Leaders should be trusted
• A college education will guarantee a secure future
• A long career will lead to a secure retirement
• The stock market will always go up--eventually
• Hard work will pay off
• If you keep your nose clean you will be rewarded

The current economic recession has lead us all to reassess what "reality" really is. On an organizational level it may mean fewer customers served or reduced revenue. On a public level it may mean fewer services or reduced service hours to citizens. On a family level it may mean fewer meals eaten out or staycations instead of vacations for awhile. On a personal level it may mean giving up the gym membership in return for at-home workouts or fewer Starbucks visits.

The "way it used to be" will never be again. I'm confident that our future will be brighter and stronger than ever before. I'm excited about the possibilities of a new "reality" that is massively improved over our world today. To get there, we have to be willing to give up our "reality" in favor of a new ideal. We can't think outside the box anymore. There is no box!

The Eagles, one of my all-time favorite bands, has a song called, "Get Over It." It could be the anthem of 2010. We have to reassess our long-held beliefs and be willing to let go of "the way it's always been." We have to be willing to envision a future, be it professionally or personally, that does not look like today. I get it. I know it's a scary proposition. But we have to get over it and get on with it. And as leaders, our job is to help others get over it. The future is bright.

Resistance to change comes in many forms: bargaining, arguing, passive protests. You are probably seeing these behaviors in the organizations you are a member of. For example, the stakeholders in one of my client organizations are debating how to maintain current service levels with fewer resources. All the creativity and resourcefulness in the world will be necessary to meet that objective. The reality is that the ideals of the past are not a reality in our current environment.

The way things "should" be may not be relevant in today's world. What are your long-held beliefs about how things should be? How can you challenge the beliefs of others in order to create a new ideal?

About the Author

Marnie E. Green is Principal Consultant of the Chandler, AZ-based Management Education Group, Inc. Green is a speaker, author, and consultant who helps organizations develop confident leaders. Contact Green at phone: 480-705-9394 email: web site:



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