First a quote: “It is only through a wholesome discontent with things as they are, that we ever try to make them better.” – Susan B Anthony
I remember, as a young child, my mother describing me as never satisfied. While I don’t remember the exact context of her assessment, I do remember it was not a positive thing. In reflection, I’m guessing that if she bought me an ice cream cone, I was disappointed it wasn’t a strawberry sundae or a banana split. In all likelihood, I wasn’t showing gratitude for what I had, and whined about wanting more, or perhaps something different. While being grateful is important, I suggest here today, that having a “restless dissatisfaction with the status quo” is also important.
“We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.” Max de Pree
Vince Lombardi once said, “We are going to relentlessly chase perfection, knowing full well we will not catch it, because nothing is perfect. But we are going to relentlessly chase it, because in the process we will catch excellence. I am not remotely interested in just being good.”
To be in a healthy and constructive state of dissatisfaction means to be restless in the pursuit of continuous improvement. Leaders know the status quo isn’t good enough, or at least won’t be for long. Customers are almost always on the lookout for the next new thing, service or product. If better is possible, then good enough isn’t good enough. No business can assume it owns its customers for the long-term unless it continually improves every day and in every way.
What did you do last week that can be done better this week? What did you do last week that shouldn’t have been done at all? What did you do last week that prevented you from doing something even better for your customers, employees and stakeholders? In what ways can you communicate better this week?
How will you live and lead differently, or better, this week?
Bonus quotes below.
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Have a great week!
“Expanding Your Capacity for Success”
- “As long as I have a want, I have a reason for living. Satisfaction is death.” – George Bernard Shaw
- “And from the discontent of man, the world’s best progress springs.” – Ella Wheeler Wilcox
- “The secret of life is to be grateful for the many benefits you’ve received and dissatisfied with how many you’ve provided.” – Mardy