The Comfort Zone Trap

As you move outside of your comfort zone, what was once the unknown and frightening becomes your new normal. Gifford Thomas challenges us to be comfortable leaving our comfort zones. He says that leaders’ comfort zones trap them in ineffective behavior, and until they move beyond their own walls, no growth can happen.
During the last half of the 20th century, leadership has been top-down, which has been a hierarchical model that simply doesn’t work anymore. People are searching for genuine satisfaction and meaning from their work, not just money, and as leaders, we must adapt, embrace the unknown, and move our of our comfort zone if our organization has any chance of survival in this very competitive world. Bad managerial skills become habits, and self-limiting stories become stronger and stronger. Left unchecked, these bad habits and compelling stories are much harder to address when managers have become seniors in their organization.
The ultimate measure of effectiveness for leaders is the ability to sustained superior results over an extended period of time. Organizations filled with aligned, empowered, and collaborative employees focused on serving customers will outperform hierarchical organizations every time. Top-down leaders may achieve near-term results, but only authentic leaders can galvanize the entire organization to sustain long-term performance, according to Bill George.
This is also true for educators. Empowered students will always outperform students who feel coerced and lectured. Helping students be comfortable out of their comfort zone is something that will enable them to be cognitively engaged and love learning, even when challenged. Collaborative, empowered people have fun and feel engaged in whatever they do.

Leave a Reply