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How About Trying What Works?

by David Brock on April 25th, 2014

I have to confess to being a little lazy.  Let me explain, I work very hard, I put in long hours, but still I’m lazy.

The reason I think I’m lazy is I want to accomplish all the things I do in as simple or easy way as possible.  As a result, I read a lot, I talk to a lot of people, I attend workshops, I watch how other people get things done.  Then I take things I see those people doing–the things that seem to be working for them, and I shamelessly copy, emulate, steal, and adapt these things into what I do.

I don’t want to take the time to discover a new way, or my unique method.  I’m too lazy to do that.  If it works for other people, it probably will work for me–perhaps with a few tweaks.

I don’t want to let my pride, ego, or stubbornness cause me to cling to continue doing what I do, but with greater intensity–even though it isn’t working as well as it might.  It’s simply too much work.

As a result of my laziness, I tend to get a lot done.  I tend to be more successful at what I’m trying to achieve than not.

I wonder, though, as I look at so many sales people, managers, and business professionals.  Too often, they get caught up in doing what they do–over and over again, but it doesn’t work.  So they do it with greater intensity and for longer periods of time, putting in Herculean efforts.  The results don’t change.

Or I look at people who’ve gone through some of the best training in the world, who have some of the best tools available to them, but never use them, choosing instead to invent or create their own thing, yet struggling to find out what works.

To me, if thousands of people have taken a training program and there is data that shows it tends to work better than what I’m currently doing, then I’d be a fool not to pay attention to it, try some of the elements and leverage it myself.

Or people that ignore the success they see their peers are having, claiming their own situation is different, or that what their peers do, doesn’t work for them.

Rather than seeking out what works, eagerly co-opting it and adapting it to their own jobs,  we see exactly the opposite.  We see organizations investing millions in tools, training, enablement; most are good programs or tools.  They can produce great results–if applied.  But people resist, they cling to the familiar, even if it doesn’t work.  They don’t try the new things, seeing how they might get some leverage to improve results.

It’s kind of a silly cycle, spending a lot of time and money to learn and apply new methods, then to discard them without trying or testing them.  Sure it anything new takes some time and commitment to make work, but if what we are currently doing isn’t producing results–then why not invest the time and try?  There’s absolutely no downside.

How lazy are you?  Perhaps a little laziness might help you produce better results.

  1. Doug Schmidt permalink

    Dave, great comments on your commitment to being a well respected professional. Interesting all the hard work and effort you put into your career I would call insightful, emotionally intelligent and resourceful.
    Your comments reminded me when I was really struggling in my career I found three habits that helped me get out of my rut. Number 1 – I started to read books on leadership, sales, marketing. In addition to reading the books I contacted the authors and other subject matter experts by sending personalized thank you notes, connecting via email and in person. I found 90 percent of the experts communicated back to me. Number 2 – I started to associate with leaders. In my case I became friends with a US Marine Colonel and an Army Ranger. As a result I learned so much from these veterans – persistence, commitment to excellence, hard work and team work. Number 3 – I took a meditation course at UPenn with Dr. Michael Baime. As a result I am more focused and less stressed.
    Dave thank you again for the lessons.

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