Productive Leaders

Ph.D., CSP, CDR, US Navy Ret.,
CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame

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Does Your Organization Suffer From Mediocrity?

Mediocrity is a disease, and lots of organizations are infected right now.

I follow Len Fuchs, and he mentioned this week that mediocrity is a disease. COVID-19 distracted a lot of leaders, and over the past few years, some leaders have struggled.

In an effort to reduce risk, many leaders decided that not making any decisions at all was better than making decisions that could go wrong.

In an effort to be viewed as compassionate, many leaders stopped holding people accountable.

In an effort to be understanding, many leaders stopped pushing for excellence.

This is mediocrity.

I was talking to an employee at an organization who was posting that she was literally only working eight hours a week and yet her manager was praising her for the little work that she did do. I asked her what her goals were, and she said she did not have any.

I asked her, “Don’t you want to move up the career path and be promoted?”

And she answered, “I don’t want to be like my manager, who doesn’t have any idea what’s actually going on.”


Not leading your teams is not helping your people. Not leading is you not doing your job.

I further asked her how she felt about pride in her work, and she said she did not have any. Why didn’t she have a sense of pride?

She said, “Because if this is what they think is good work, and I know it is not, I can’t feel happy with myself.”
I pressed her, “You could do more and better work.”
“Yeah,” she said, “but it’s not like anybody would notice anyway.”

Ouch again.

When leaders and managers settled for mediocrity, it becomes a disease that spreads like a contagion. People think almost good enough is where they should stop.

Mediocrity is the enemy of having pride in our work.

Mediocrity is the enemy of excellence.

Mediocrity is the enemy of productivity.

In a mediocre work environment, people do not have a sense of purpose. They do not have a sense of achievement for the work they do. They lose their sense of loyalty.

As leaders it is incumbent upon leaders to lead people to excellence. We have to lead people toward their full potential. And we have to do it in a way that is both motivating and productive.

Do not settle for mediocrity.


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