When was the last time that you sought out a truly difficult challenge? Sure, we all have hard things come upon us and have to face them, but in the last year or two, have you proactively gone out and tried to do something new, uncomfortable, or that required you to stretch in a significant way?
In his book True Professionalism, David Maister shares two types of leaders for service companies—Dynamos and Cruisers.
Dynamos are described as leaders who actively go out and build new skills, knowledge and the whole company. They actively give work to others while also seeking out new challenges and new areas for growth. In essence, they are the front runners of change and growth. They lead by example and are not afraid to take on new challenges or dive in to figure out how to do something that is difficult.
On the other hand, cruisers are described as leaders who are solid technically, successful, and hard working. They serve their clients well and do the activities that they are comfortable with. They live off of the skillset that they have established and have plateaued in how they move themselves and their business forward. The interesting thig is that both are successful and both get the job done, but the outcomes are very different over the long term for both the company and the employees working there.
Most of us would agree that early on in our careers we had to put a lot of time into developing our knowledge and skill set. But life get’s busy, whether that is family, leadership, managing multiple clients, teams, running the business, etc. Once we’ve established a strong reputation and can meet the client’s and the firms expectations, it makes sense to coast along. At times you should and it is beneficial to give perspective, reassess the direction, focus and efforts.
But if we stay too long in the cruiser mode, not only do others start to pass us by, but we ourselves start to atrophy. If we don’t seek out new knowledge, skills and opportunities, the ones we currently have will eventually run their course and either end or move on. If you are stuck in a cruiser mentality or your business has hit a plateau, then there may be some simple ways that we can help to act like a jumpstart to getting both you and your business back into a growing, improving scenario.