Thwarting Death by Comfort Zone

I talk a lot about the importance of leaving your comfort zone and the growth that can happen when you do. Most of the time I emphasize the BENEFITS of doing so.

Thwarting Death by Comfort Zone

Recently I’ve been reminded of how DANGEROUS comfort zones really are when:

  • A group of expats got too comfortable navigating the land we live in and found ourselves in a situation we could have avoided.
  • My husband witnessed a friend’s motorcycle accident and recognized how comfortable, carefree and careless he has become on his own Harley.
  • I visited with an executive that has been in his position so long he is struggling to see how complacent and ineffective he is becoming.

Each scenario caused me to reflect on how winning sports teams lose their edge, how wildly successful businesses stop growing, and how governments and countries rise and fall…

Linger too long in a comfort zone and you risk…

Hope & Help for Difficult Career Transitions

Because of current and pending lay-offs in the oil industry and the domino effect that follows I’ve been thinking about the people who struggle with job searches.

  • Some recent graduates hide in the comfort of their homes and conduct their entire career search online.
  • Some are so paralyzed in fear that it is not uncommon for parents and spouses to look for outside direction and support to help their loved ones become active participants in their own job searches.
  • Even accomplished adults that are faced with unwanted career transitions can become webbed in the midst of change and struggle to engage.

If you fit any of those descriptions – this post is for you. And if you know anyone that fits those descriptions this post is for them.

Smelling smoke? Is it coming from another leader?

Have you ever caught a whiff of a smoky haze coming from down the hall? …The kind that indicates something is not quite right?

Leaders...  What do you do when you smell smoke?

Occasionally a fire alarm even goes off, but it is quickly silenced.

…But if you follow your nose the smoke gets thicker around another titled leader’s door.

Yes – I’m asking about a titled leader that may be a level or two below you, may be your direct report, your peer or even your boss.    

Are your expectations too low or too high?

A variety of conversations over the past few months have me focused on expectations.

  • I rave about it when I am a customer and someone exceeds my expectations.
  • I prefer to work with people who want to exceed the expectations of their key-stakeholders and customer.
  • And I delight in finding ways to provide that kind of service to others.

As a result I’ve historically struggled to be on the receiving end of poor service, and really struggled to work with titled leaders that don’t care about anything but meeting minimum standards.

 So imagine living life in a place where:

How brokenness can make you more effective

I read the story below several years ago and really struggled with it…

Brokenness and Leadership

A young woman sang a solo in front of a large audience. Her vocal technique was splendid, her intonation excellent, her range significant.

Coincidentally, the man who had written the piece of music she sang was sitting in the audience. When the young woman finished, the person sitting beside the composer leaned over and said, “Well, what do you think of her?”

Softly the composer responded, “She will be really great when something happens to break her heart.” ~ C. Swindoll


My heart pushed back  ~ “That’s pretty heavy and negative!”  

Part of my brain argued with the thought and then shut down.

The other part of my brain questioned ~ “Why would someone say that?  Why would a broken heart make anyone really great…?”  

…And then I walked through the most significant struggle in my life.