Ruts on the road of our leadership lives are worn into place over time by driving in the comfortable groves of complacency. What may have started out as a priority for each of us can erode into a road of indifference. If we aren’t careful our ruts get deeper and turn into graves with the ends knocked out. I have listed a few potential ruts that we can all get stuck in from time to time.
Rut Number 1: The Entitlement Rut
This is a mindset rut that is akin to the Emperor’s attitude toward his new clothes. We are no longer aware of what we are wearing and no one wants to tell us we’re exposed. The rut of entitlement can permeate all areas of our leadership life. We can move out of this rut by being thankful, grateful for what we have and doing random acts of kindness for others.
Rut Number 2: The Busyness Rut
The time we used to spend on our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health is not what it used to be. We have to much to do and we can’t, don’t or won’t get to the things that matter most. We get so busy doing we forget being. We are indifferent about our soul care yet passionate about our endeavors. Get out of the busyness rut by taking time each day to pause, read a joke, laugh and enjoy life.
Rut Number 3: The Education Rut
We have been in our chosen profession long enough to be considered an an authority or an expert. We have written articles, books or both. Complacency sets in and over time we find ourselves in an education rut. We must continually feed our minds with new information and wisdom. It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts. Pick up a new book or magazine that has nothing to do with your profession and give it a read.
Rut Number 4: The Accountability Rut
Not having a peer or friend you can talk to somehow gets pushed down the to do list the longer we stay in leadership. More responsibility may come our way so we need to automate our lives. One of the first things to go is relational connection. We no longer take the time to build healthy relationships that keep us from complacency. Move out of this rut by picking up the phone and calling a good friend. Take them to lunch or for a grande non-fat caramel macchiato. It’s a great first step in reconnecting accountability.
Remember, ruts are worn over time not over night. Doing the same thing, the same way expecting the same results will deepen the groove. The deeper the rut, the harder it is to get out.
What rut are you in right now?
What have you done in the past to get out of a leadership rut?