Producing Results Blog

Why Everybody is Wrong About This Common Adage

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[quote style=”boxed”]If you keep doing what you’ve always been doing, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten.[/quote]

I’m sure you’ve heard some version of this. You’ve read it in a dozen books, you’ve heard it in a dozen motivational speeches. (And, by the way, if that last part is true, congratulations on surviving a dozen motivational speeches.)

“If you keep doing what you’ve always been doing, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten.”

I’d like to respectfully disagree. Actually, I’d like to vehemently disagree. Because the news is even worse. If you keep doing what you’ve always been doing, you will not keep getting what you’ve always gotten. You’ll get less and less than you’ve always gotten, until one day you wake up and you’re out of business.

Here’s why.

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“If you keep doing what you’ve always been doing, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten” is really just another way of saying, “If you’re not moving forward, you’re standing still.” But that’s not true either, because it fails to take into account the fact that the rest of the world (including your competition) is moving forward. So if you’re not moving forward as well (and, preferably, at a faster rate than the competition), you’re actually moving backwards with respect to everybody else.

So if you “keep doing what you’ve always been doing” (i.e., if you’re “not moving forward”), your competition will eventually pass you. They’ll invent a hot new product, they’ll introduce a hot new service, they’ll initiate a hot new marketing campaign. And they’ll pass you. What happens next? Your customers start to migrate. They hear about the new product, the new service, the new campaign, and they start to migrate. And, bit by bit, your business starts to die.

So let’s rewrite this common adage. Let’s change it to:

[quote style=”boxed”]If you keep doing what you’ve always been doing, you’ll die.[/quote]

A little harsh? Well, so is business. Leadership, my friends, is for big boys and big girls. Leadership is for people who aren’t just “okay” with change, growth, and evolution; they actually welcome and embrace them. Because real leaders know that continuous change, growth, and evolution is vital to the very existence of their organization.

motivational speaker Bill StaintonAuthor and actress Carrie Fisher once said, “There is no point at which you can say, ‘Well, I’m successful now. I might as well take a nap.'” I bring this up not just because it’s true, not just because it illustrates my point, but also because it gives me a chance to use the bikini picture, thus increasing the chances of this blog being read by 14-year old boys.

She’s right, of course. Success is not a destination, it’s a process.

Bottom line: the message of the adage (you’ve got to keep moving forward) is valid; the stakes are just a lot higher than you may have thought.

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About the Author:

For 15 years, Executive Producer and Hall of Fame speaker Bill Stainton, CSP led his team to more than 100 Emmy Awards and 10 straight years of #1 ratings.Today Bill helps leaders achieve those kinds of results--in THEIR world and with THEIR teams.
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