Why do we do work that doesn’t have lasting impact?

Why do we settle for “that’ll do” vs. “wow?”

Why do we roll our eyes at colleagues who annoy us rather than engage with them in a meaningful and productive way?

There’s no one answer. But I’d say an underlying factor for many of us is that we get trapped by our own ego — our need to protect this self we’ve created.

We do incremental change work because we don’t think we can get buy-in to go for broke?

We settle for “that’ll do” because we don’t want to fail.

We roll our eyes because we don’t want to see the world from another’s perspective. We simply don’t have the time or empathy.

I just attended a workshop called the Art of Transformational Consulting led by Robert Gass and the Social Transformation Project. He challenged and coached us to do the internal work — breaking down our ego and tapping into our leadership superpowers — so that we can bring transformational thinking to every project.

The next time you feel compelled to settle, think about why you got into this work into the first place. Ask yourself what “fictions” you might be telling yourself and what “truths” you might be overlooking. Look at your relationships as if you were a third party — not invested in any specific outcome.

These are small things for sure. But developing them as practice can help break through a debilitating cocoon you may have unknowingly created for yourself.