Why you’re stuck and how to get to the next level


I have a huge amount of respect for Roy Williams. Today I opened up his Monday Morning Memo and he clearly addressed the troubling question I’ve been getting for years, “Jimmy, why am I stuck here and what do I gotta do to get to the next level?” Read the following excerpt from Roy VERY SLOWLY. Then determine which scenario you are in. It’ll help immensely. Thanks Roy!

“Anything worth doing is worth doing badly.”
These are the words of an Entrepreneur who has an idea half-formed and a dream bigger than the sunrise. He or she believes that if you leap, a net will appear. Entrepreneurs are confident in the street-smarts they glean from their failures and their optimistic futurevision lets them see beyond the awkward and ugly “proof-of-concept” phase to the glowing innovation that lies beyond it.

“Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.”
These are the words of a strong Leader: the champion of the tribe, the perfect embodiment of commitment. He or she can be trusted to think on their feet, improvise when necessary and infuse co-workers with their passion. If you turn to the right – toward Excellence through Poise and Responsiveness – you will need strong team leaders.

“Anything worth doing is worth doing well.”

These are the words of an effective Manager: the guardian of the style guide, the protector of the status quo. He or she can be trusted to implement processes and insure that employees conform to policies and follow procedures. If you turn to the left – toward Excellence through Planning and Execution – you will need an effective manager.

Managers and Leaders are natural enemies.

The Manager thinks the Leader is reckless and undisciplined and sloppy.

The Leader can’t decide whether the Manager is a tight-ass robot or a pencil-pushing sourpuss who was weaned on a pickle.

Leaders thrive amidst chaos and feel handcuffed by order.

Managers are repulsed by chaos and feel empowered by order.

Most organizations are
begun by entrepreneurs,
grown by leaders, and later
optimized by managers.

Companies built on passionate Poise and Responsiveness are difficult to sustain long-term. Can you think of one that has kept the spring in its step and the sparkle in its eye for more than a decade or two? Poise and Responsiveness often give way to Planning and Execution so that systems and methods and techniques and procedures can be created, allowing consistent results to be obtained by average people.

Excellent people are hard to find, hard to keep and expensive to pay.
Average people are everywhere.

If your organization is suffering because you can’t find enough excellent people, you are probably a leader who needs to give some of your authority to a manager who will create systems and policies and methods and procedures. Just sayin’.

But if your organization is feeling a little stale and out-of-touch and behind-the-times and you feel it needs a transfusion of energy, you’re probably a manager who needs to give some of your authority to a leader.

A leader is a highly productive troublemaker, an artist who knows which rules to break, which procedures to change, which policies to end and which mountain to climb.

“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”
— Pablo Picasso

– Roy H. Williams

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