Emerson once said that nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
Which is true, but the tricky question is, what happens when that type of energy isn’t welcome by the people around you? What happens when you show up on the first day with wide eyes and bright smiles and a big plate of homemade cookies, and your efforts are met with shrugs?
That’s the unspoken challenge of enthusiasm. Depending on the venue, it can be one of those strengths for which there is little use. An ability that doesn’t get much play. And for the earnest individual attempting to flex that muscle, it can be demoralizing as hell.
Beck’s pioneering book on facilitating the transformation of corporate cultures reminds us that making changes in living systems is a dangerous business. Especially if you begin making change without recognizing the existence of a system. And so, lacking a supportive culture, new ideas can barely germinate, much less bloom. Even when it does, the new awakenings are often characterized by confusion, false starts, long learning curves and awkward assimilation.
This is a mistake I’ve made a number of times in my career. I’ve shown up on day one, plunging ahead and letting my passion lead the way, but my seeds of enthusiasm fell on thin, cynical or hostile soil.
All because I didn’t recognize the native architecture of the landscape.
Lesson learned, if you want to find a niche where you can live your positive traits to their fullest, start by identifying the existing system.
Understand the arrangement of circumstances that makes things happen in a certain way, and then get to work trying to change them.
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.
Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.
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