I have been a little pensive, dreaming about the future while evaluating the near past. It is bitter-sweet. The thought of possibilities evoke passion and excitement. Past failures, on the other hand, remind me of what can go wrong.
Grief is not an easy thing. While we all may grieve, they don’t grieve the same. We grieve the loss of loved ones, but that is not the only thing we grieve. We grieve everything dear to us.
I’ve discovered that many people participate in competitions for different reasons. Not everyone is competing for the same prize. Some were willing to settle with making it to certain stages of the tournament.
I think it is sad that while all could aspire to win the main prize, some were only glad to settle for what I think was the lesser. However diverse, every team that competes has some [ultimate] goal in mind. Every effort in preparation and in actual games are centered on an ultimate goal of sort. The prize is why teams [should] compete.
Goals give purpose to effort. Imagine an athlete setting out on a race with no end or finish line! It would be wasted effort, energy and time. Without clear objectives it is easy to waste and even abuse resources.
Goals can help us measure or place value on our efforts as we review our advance toward them against time. Clear goals also help us in determining what resources are needed and or how to apportion them.
Clear goals will dictate to us what our focus should be. There are many ‘battles’ that will seek our attention and one of the keys to our effectiveness is in choosing our ‘battles’ wisely.
Don’t fight a battle if you don’t gain anything by winning – Erwin Rommel
It would be of great benefit for us to consider the ‘battles’ we’re engaged in at the moment and the potential results of our engagements and whether they are worthwhile. I think now would be a good time us to give thought to what we are going to give of ourselves and resources AND why.
I don’t run without a goal. And I don’t box by beating my fists in the air – Apostle Paul
Are your pursuits clear? Are they worthwhile?
I’ve attended so many conferences I’ve lost count. So much that I’ve now come up with my conference attendance manifesto. I’ve accumulated enough notebooks for a library of tomes of my own. I admit with every conference I attend, there’s a subconscious me that thinks through the theme and actual content delivered.
I contemplate the relevance of the conference to my felt needs or the felt needs of my team. There really is no point, besides bad time-wasting, to attending something that will not benefit you in the future or present! My conference attendance manifesto:
Accomplishing a goal or target without the next one lined up will create what I call a “wander-wonder period”. Don’t wait till you reach your target to set the next one, always have ‘one in the bag’. Apathy will set in when there is no new and clear goal or target set ahead.
Myopia is a catalyst for apathy.
Challenges are one of the things I think facilitate innovation. With innovation there’s a general sense of, “we’re breaking barriers” or “new frontiers”, keeping your organization or team feeling a sense of progress and accomplishment.
To combat apathy you must constantly introduce your team to newer scenarios or challenges. New scenarios not only involve coming up with completely new programs or ‘products’ but could simply be, “how can we better a process?”
Familiarity is an enemy of ingenuity and innovation. As a leader, it is important for you to constantly and intentionally plan fun and engaging challenges for your team.
Feedback is very important for any subordinate or colleague. Without feedback outside of themselves your team can easily feel that their efforts and or even them, as individuals are being taken for granted, creating a platform for apathy to set in. Your team and colleagues want to know what you think or feel about them and their performance.
From my experiences, most would rather know that you think they are not doing as well as they could or should rather than silence. Feedback to your team will act a compass, pointing them to the areas and course they need to pay attention to.
Your team needs to be constantly reminded of the big picture and how they fit in. It is easy for some people to get discouraged when some part of their activity begins to feel mundane.
Constant reminders about the significance of their contribution will help keep their efforts in perspective, fanning the flames of purpose and combating possible apathy.
I’m still trying to think of other reasons why apathy sets in and some solutions…