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  • Charlie Haberkorn

The Uncomfort Zone

Since March 2020 all of us have felt uncomfortable. Covid 19 thrust upon us discomfort in many areas of our lives. Our mobility, health, working, socializing and learning remotely... all examples.

Status quo is the current state of things. Status quo is doing the same thing over and over. Often doing the same thing over and over day after day we get comfortable. Being comfortable often leads to complacency. Complacency leads to not trying new things. When complacency sets in, we stop trying new things, stop learning and as an organization you run the risk of getting outperformed by competition and personally passed by as others progress.

When you challenge status quo, you identify and find better ways to do things. Challenging status quo means adding value and can be the very basis of success. Challenging status quo you have now entered the “Uncomfort Zone.”

As I mentioned earlier Covid thrust discomfort upon us.

When entering the Uncomfort Zone you intentionally make the decision to challenge the status quo thereby experiencing discomfort. You decide to personally grow by embracing new experiences and set out to learn more and expand your mind. You are on your way once you make the decision to enter the Uncomfort Zone. As you begin to challenge yourself and the status quo in your business environment do not stop. It is hard work to be uncomfortable but you have made the most difficult decision getting started. You will find resistance from others that want to live in the status quo for they are comfortable and complacent. Find like-minded people, those who want to enter the Uncomfort Zone and make a difference. These folks will become a support system and hopefully others will see your success and want to participate. Celebrate successes along the way. Do not celebrate too long because you will want to continue the journey in the Uncomfort Zone by continuously improving all you do.

In business where a culture of rewarding those that enter the Uncomfort Zone and improve personally and collectively you experience a culture that will drive achievement of the organization’s desired results.

In past newsletters I have written of a process that is disciplined, adaptable, built with imperative leaders, initiatives that have teams working to accomplish the imperatives, consistent performance measures, expectations and accountabilities all working together to meet the desired outcomes of the organization. This process encourages and supports those wishing to enter the Uncomfort Zone.

When building a personal and business culture that intentionally enters the Uncomfort Zone no longer is uncomfort thrust upon you. You deliberately cause the discomfort and improve beyond the status quo. A company that embraced the concept of remote working prior to Covid 19 is an example of entering the Uncomfort Zone. Those companies challenged the status quo early and built the necessary infrastructure and systems. Those organizations felt discomfort when they were early adopters. Those that were thrust into remote work during and likely after Covid were at a disadvantage as they needed to build systems during the chaos. Companies that embraced alternative shopping and delivery methodologies out performed those that did not. We all can point to examples where organizations that challenge status quo, with new product concepts, improved order cycle and accuracy, new products, new services, new packaging and new systems that meet the needs now and in the future of customers, consumers and employees accomplish the desired results of their organizations.

Those that embrace status quo get left behind. Yes, there are times when doing nothing new may lead to a short-term gain yet over the long term those companies fail.

I am reminded of an idiom. Grab for the brass ring. The idiom has its roots in merry-go-round rides. When on the outside lane of a carousel the rider would hold the reins of the horse with one hand and reach with the other to grab the brass ring the prize. The status quo gets on the merry-go-round, puts two hands on the horse and rides. Enter the Uncomfort Zone, for parents and rider, one hand on the reins and reach for the prize. Risk and reward, you might miss the prize or fall off, those are risks and the reward is the prize. You had to make an intentional decision to enter the Uncomfort Zone by riding a horse on the outside lane. You may not always win but keep trying.

Deliberately challenge status quo for personal and professional growth. Leaders at all levels of the organization, also explained in a previous newsletter, encourage others to reach for the prize. Stay within the framework of the process stated earlier. Stay to your regularly scheduled working sessions keeping in focus the overall prize of accomplishing the desired results. Discipline, adaptability, expectations, accountability, consistent performance, attaining desired results while building a culture of entering the “Uncomfort Zone “.

Hope all are staying safe and healthy during this time of uncertainty and discomfort. Don’t miss an opportunity to become better personally, professionally and as an organization.

Reach for the brass ring and as always Somers Bay Consulting Services will assist in putting the pieces of the puzzle together.

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