Has your career been hijacked by the tyranny of small things?
“Beware of the tyranny of making small changes to small things. Rather, make big changes to big things.” – Roger Enrico
You once had a grand vision for your life.
A life of purpose, impact, and meaning. An optimistic future powered by courage and audacity. A legacy to be renowned for – the life-affirming knowledge that, at least in our little corner of the world, what you did truly mattered.
It is the driving force of this vision that brought you to where you are today.
And for a long time, your vision was becoming reality. Brick by brick, you kept on putting the pieces in place. You went from strength to strength. Accolades, payrises, promotions. You felt unstoppable.
But then something began to change.
Each new milestone became tougher and more elusive. Every inch of progress less attainable than the last.
In ebbs and flows, your brilliantly optimistic future gave way to an increasingly uncertain present.
Perhaps worst of all, where you used to take on big, worthy, important challenges - and win - now you’re besieged on all sides by mindless minutiae, the endless small problems that drain your energy, torpedo your plans and deadlines, and ultimately, hold you hostage to enforced mediocrity.
One of the greatest dangers of being consumed by the tyranny of small things is that it blinds you to seeing the trend line, the overall trajectory of your career.
Your horizons drop – you become too preoccupied with surviving the present to consider the future, operating in the danger zone of fight or flight mode.
So it’s time for a reality check:
When you have to put in more and more hours to achieve less and less progress…
…when you spend more and more energy putting out fires, and invest less and less in building things and achieving your goals…
…when you can’t remember the last time you felt “in the zone”, but your stress levels have gone through the roof…
…it’s time to change course. FAST.
Because from here on out, it only gets worse. Doing more of what isn’t working won’t fix it. Working harder within a flawed framework leads only to despair and burnout, as you merely fight against the inevitable.
It’s a vicious cycle of self-destruction that, once far enough advanced, becomes almost irreversible. One that destroys careers, leads companies to ruin, and ultimately, murders dreams.
But you have a chance to change it, right here and right now.
Know that you’re not alone.
You see, this is a familiar story, a tale of heartache and anguish echoed by countless leaders and would-be leaders who came before you.
You excelled in your career because of your individual talents, your intelligence, your drive and work ethic. And it is this excellence which earned you the opportunity to step up and lead.
Yet nobody taught you how to be a leader. You’re just expected to do it.
The problem is, those same qualities which made you an outstanding individual achiever often work against you in leadership.
Once you become a leader, it’s not about you or your personal excellence anymore. Your success is no longer about your talent, your drive, or your work ethic – it’s all about the quality and cohesion of the people surrounding you.
Willingness to work harder and longer, taking extreme personal accountability, striving to be a better craftsman – these are all outstanding qualities in a team member. But you simply can’t win the game of leadership by taking everything on your own shoulders and working harder than everyone else.
According to a landmark study by LeadershipIQ, 46% of all hires fail within 18 months, while only 19% are unequivocally successful. And these damning statistics are no fluke – LeadershipIQ’s study followed over 20,000 hires made by 5,247 leaders from 312 organizations over a three year period.
To be crystal clear, those are coin flip odds simply to avoid failure. And to avoid failure is to merely keep your head above water. We both know it takes much more than that to truly excel. And statistically? That’s about a 1 in 5 chance of excellence from your hires.
No wonder you’re finding it harder and harder to get ahead.
Incidentally, the same study also found that the new hires failed due to a lack of technical ability only 11% of the time – overwhelmingly the causes were due to other factors. Yet technical skills are exactly what most Blockchain leaders obsess over, almost to the exclusion of everything else.
The setbacks, the disruptions, the distractions. The tyranny of small things that threatens to derail your career. They’re all just people problems in disguise.
And by far the easiest way to solve them - all of them - is to hire the right people in the first place.
Most leaders build an average team and then work like hell in perpetuity trying to compensate for their weaknesses.
Why not invest a little more time on building an exceptional team? A team that accomplishes more - much more - while giving you the inner peace of knowing that everything is taken care of, the freedom to focus on the big, important projects that matter, and the joy of reclaiming time to take care of yourself, to follow your passions, to spend with your family.
It’s so important, it might even add years to your life expectancy. That’s got to be a future worth fighting for.