Step up or step out of the way

There are two basic states in nature: growth and decay.

The same dichotomy applies with respect to the employees of any company. They are either growing or they are decaying; there is no middle ground. In fact, “holding steady,” “hanging in there” and “settling in” are naught but fancy ways of saying “I’m starting to decay but I’m not ready to admit it to myself.”

As a manager, you have to learn the signs of growth and decay in your team as well as in yourself.

For example, those who are growing are constantly in a state of becoming. They are neither what they were nor what they soon will be, but you always get the feeling from them that they’re doing everything possible to make sure that their tent stakes are move out a little further each and every day.

Those who have given in to decadence, however, have hitched their wagons to entropy. They fear change, fear the worst and scamper about in the shadows of what might have been. They point to the success of others as the cause of their failure. They’d rather be given something – position, authority, titles, etc. – than let those elements blossom from within outward.

A truly inspiring person issues a challenge to his world that says: “Step up or step out of the way.” If you are inspired, don’t hold back. Be inspiring no matter what. And watch as your field of influence begins to take shape. It is a sight to behold!

6 thoughts on “Step up or step out of the way

  1. Zach

    This is a wonderful and succinct explanation of something that separates the successful from the wishful thinkers. Growth takes worth. Just like a plant growing, energy needs to be put into the system to have anything worthwhile come from it. Growth is also not always comfortable. Whether it is a coworker that doesn’t like the success you’re having, or merely your own inner growing pains, sometimes you just have to tough it out and keep going.

    When there is no static state, each of us is constantly choosing whether to grow or decay, every moment. I know I will be choosing to grow.

  2. Kierney

    As a manager, this really is great advice – to be alert to the signs of either of these. Also, it’s my responsibility to inspire those around me, regardless of which direction may be chosen by others,

  3. Ricardo B.

    These are good analogies. The life of a business depends on growth no doubt, and individual states of decay do more than just weigh down an enterprise; they can eat away at the fabric of optimism and high energy that is so valuable to be truly successful. Much like a decaying plant which is moldy is able infect healthy ones just due to proximity.

    Taking conscious steps to growth is not only necessary, but unavoidable if one is to be truly a positively contributing member. The real growth comes from internal motivation, where by oneself there’s enough spark to keep advancing. Then it can be so easy to work together, cooperatively.

  4. Coco

    This has everything to do with the “taking ownership” you recently posted about. Consistent growth or the opposite belongs to each as well. Working with someone that ‘s thriving creates a dynamic work environment which in turn creates a positive pressure felt by everyone to grow or go. Something I’ve noted is that when a team member chooses to go they will often attempt to influence others , particularly those in the earlier stages of growth, that it’s unattainable, unfair, etc. but rarely will they just leave alone. As a fellow employee I appreciate the manager that assists them to hasten their departure as the value of their work is usually more deleterious than the indispensable they usually think they are.

  5. Chuck Reddick

    This is also known as Taking Ownership isn’t it Gregg! Thanks for the reminder that each one of us is likely nowhere close to being a finished product. Imagine what would happen in the world if each one of us looked to get just a little better every day!

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