Choosing Default – A Big Success Blocker!

Warning: default decisions and actions, although seductive when chosen and not always easy to recognize, can be lethal to your success.

First, perhaps it's best to define "default." It occurs when you have chosen, operative word chosen, not to make a decision or take an action that would help you move forward in achieving what you want in your career or personal life.

Many companies lose market viability because of a default mindset that results in default behavior. Individuals lose out on career and personal relationships, due to default behaviors. So, how do you recognize this lethal-to-your-success choice of behavior? Here are some examples:

When given the choice to engage in doing something different, you sit on the fence, unknowingly protecting the status quo when it no longer is of value.
You overanalyze, beyond the appropriate level of due diligence required for good decision-making.
You wait for further information or instructions before making important and timely personal or business decisions.

These can be a "kiss of death" for career advancement and organization market value or gain. And what is the worst part? We do it to ourselves!

It's normal and predictable to want to protect what we know and worked hard to acquire, rather than venturing into the unknown. Well, that is until the market, customers or competition drag us kicking and screaming into making organizational changes to survive. And without a doubt, surviving in our jobs or with key strategic customers is not fun, whereas thriving is.

How to thrive in today's business environment? Have a hunger for success coupled with the willingness to self-investigate, identify, and then actively engage in pursuing goal-relevant opportunities. To repeat: Defaulting on opportunities can only result in lost individual and organization value.

Here's another example: A client recently had the opportunity to make what I consider to be a career-making presentation to his company's senior executives and other industry leaders. Because of his discomfort with speaking in front of large groups, my client chose default. Although perfectly qualified, he forfeited the valuable business opportunity to demonstrate his expertise by allowing a colleague to make the presentation. His peer, with the same trepidation, nonetheless accepted the opportunity.

His colleague engaged. He prepared. He obtained presentation coaching and delivered the career-making presentation that my client had defaulted on. Sad but true, when given the choice to step out of our individual or organizational comfort zones, sometimes we choose default rather than engagement.

So here's the key: Be ever so vigilant for career and organizational enhancing opportunities. What are new ways to engage in your present position, new responsibilities or position that if actively pursued would bring employability value to you? Which new partnering alliances or stronger customer relationships that when sought and forged would give you a competitive advantage?

Every day, you can have new and different opportunities IF you recognize them or create them. Then, know exactly what you want to accomplish. Identify and be fully aware of the best decisions and actions that will move you forward to achieve what you want in your career, in your business or personal life -- then engage!


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