Beware the language of powerlessness

How often have you heard any of these phrases or perhaps  used them yourself:

“Don’t rock the boat”

“Pick your battles”

“Keep your head down”

“That is how stuff works around here”

“These things take time”

Within and outside the organisations I work with, I hear over and over again the language of powerlessness – the language of C.Y.A – Cover Your Ass, the language of the status quo.

You joined to do great work, so go do it.

You,  like most people I know – some in the biggest and richest companies in the world – joined to do amazing things.

They joined to pursue the passion of figuring problems out , helping people , being of use or simply for the joy of making.

Along the way they acquired things – family and responsibilities. All of which make demands on time and money.

Along the way, they settled for the status quo and adopted the language of powerlessness – allowing unfairness and injustice to be done in the name of career progression.

You only have this one life – spend it wisely, do the great work now – you might not get another go round the carousel.

Go take calculated risks.

Start a business – you might fail or you might succeed, either way it would probably be the best thing you could do.

Speak out against the things that piss you off  – you might help change them.

Stand up for others at work  even against the opinion of authority.

Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. You are human – show it.

Don’t tolerate your time being wasted – it is the only thing of real value you have and you have less of it every day.

Be the shoulders for others to reach further  –  that is leadership too.

Call things as you see them.

You might actually find you have a more enjoyable, impactful and inspirational career by not trying to have one.

Photo by Australian National Maritime Museum on The Commons

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