I Will Not Live in the House of Complacency

Did my title get your attention? I hope so because I am fired up about something! Please be patient with me as you read this, as I will get to my point.

Last Thursday night, I watched part of a two-hour livestream hosted by Dave Ramsey. I didn’t get to watch the entire live session because of time zone differences and a personal obligation. I am working through the replay. What I heard, though, in the last half hour fired me up. It made me personally think that, in some areas of my work life, I have finally caved into what has been pounded into our brains for three years!

What am I talking about? You will find out in a moment, but let me say upfront. . . I have never sacrificed working hard, putting in my time, and doing my very best on any given day. I have not stopped caring about our mission to elevate the administrative profession and those in it, around the world.

As I said, Dave Ramsey (whom I have admired and listened to for years as a business owner) hosted a two-hour event called America’s Labor Crisis with Mike Rowe and five other experts and authors on how America’s current state of work and workplace trends (from quiet quitting to the Great Resignation to the work-from-home movement) are affecting our small businesses.

While this live stream was dedicated to small business America, big business is having the same struggle getting employees to be engaged in their work, retaining good people, and recruiting and hiring “thoroughbreds.” I know this because Office Dynamics works with large corporations and organizations in every industry. I know this because I daily read the top-respected national publications and daily industry emails.

I want to share with you the most profound statements I heard last night, in just a half hour. The discussion was around the complacent attitudes that have infected our workplaces little by little and how leaders need to set the bar straight and high (once again.) What does this have to do with you? I hope you see yourself as a leader! You do not need a high-ranking title to lead others. So what have you been thinking the past three years? Have you, little by little, fallen into complacency? Do you think, “What the heck? I’ll follow the crowd. Why should I do more than everyone else? Why should I invest in my education and training? It doesn’t matter if I show up at the office, no one else does. So what if I look like I just rolled out of bed on a Zoom meeting?”

Dave Ramsey told us:

  • “Stop romancing mediocracy.”
  • “Ambition is NOT a bad word.”
  • “Success is NOT a bad word.”
  • “When you go to work and don’t work (and you get paid), it is ethically wrong.”

Mike Rowe said:

  • “Skill and worth ethic are NOT tabu.”

So back to me . . . as I said earlier, there are some situations or things in my Work Pillar that I have given in on or given up on because I’m tired of fighting the world. I’m tired of the media constantly barraging us with headlines as to “this is what is right . . . at this moment.” And the bickering that is going on between employees, potential employee hires, and employers. I think it is all very sad. I have been in the workplace for 52 years, and, while there definitely are superstars, workplace norms and manners have progressively declined over time.

Another mindset shift that I have noticed in myself, stuns me!

  1. Prior to the pandemic, for 30 years, I was doing onsite training year-round. I loved it!!!
  2. The pandemic hit in 2020 and all in-person training stopped. I longed to be in a classroom with people. But I had to quickly adapt and converted all our training to live virtual.
  3. I thought 2021 would see a change and companies would bring admin on-site training back. But that didn’t happen. My heart was breaking to not be in a room with people feeling the energy and laughter. Little by little, I accepted this was my work life.
  4. Surely, 2022 would bring about on-site training for admins. Nope! While we had our in-person conference (and it was fabulous), I was still looking at a camera teaching. I moved deeper and deeper into contentment. I even found myself not wanting to travel for business, only for pleasure. I loved the idea of just going to my office and logging in 20 minutes before my training sessions. Everything was working beautifully! Our business was blessed.
  5. This week, I have my first business trip on the road. In June, I have a speaking engagement in New York. Very exciting, right? Why am I not so excited? Of course, I will do a fantastic job and love being with people. But what happened to that deep-down excitement I used to feel?
  6. After hearing Dave Ramsey, it dawned on me that little by little, I was forced into the world of work as it existed for so many years. I’m not saying it was all bad. But what happened to the Joan I knew? Well, she is still there but I’m just not pushing to make it happen.

How do we know we have fallen into complacency versus just being content?

To get a quick answers (instead of surfing the web), I asked ChatGPT. Here is what it wrote.

Complacency and contentment can sometimes be confused with each other because they both involve a sense of satisfaction or comfort. However, there are some key differences between the two.

Contentment is a positive state of being satisfied with what one has achieved or obtained. It is a feeling of peace and fulfillment, and it often comes from achieving one’s goals or being in a situation that one finds desirable. Contentment is typically associated with a sense of gratitude and appreciation for one’s blessings.

Complacency is a negative state of being satisfied with the status quo and failing to recognize the need for change or improvement. It can arise from a lack of motivation, a fear of taking risks, or a belief that things will always stay the same. Complacency can lead to stagnation and a failure to grow or achieve one’s potential.

To determine whether you are experiencing contentment or complacency, ask yourself:

  • Are you still actively pursuing your goals and striving for improvement?
  • Are you open to new experiences and challenges, or are you satisfied with staying in your comfort zone?
  • Are you taking steps to maintain and improve upon what you have achieved, or are you simply coasting along?

Please join me in Not Living In The House Of Complacency! We need to make our world a better place and it starts with each of us.

Joan Burge

P.S. If you are not an executive or manager reading this Monday Motivator, I highly recommend you share the link to the Dave Ramsey livestream replay with the key people you support. They need to hear these messages from experts and help be a catalyst to change our workplaces for the better!


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