“She’ll be right mate, there’s nothing I can do, as it’s beyond my control”, is heard all too often in struggling communities. Laziness is not trying very hard, avoiding strenuous tasks or heavy lifting, getting others to do the work, or not showing up. Some are quick to point fingers at others when they demonstrate this sort of slothfulness.
But there are other sorts of laziness, and they’re far more damaging. Emotional indifference is very different from physical inactivity. While it’s hard to measure, it’s easier to avoid, and the consequences can be much more significant. Make a start by simplifying your life and your business.
There’s the laziness of writing people off without doing the hard work of seeing them for who they are and their capacity to contribute. There’s the laziness of bureaucracy, not wanting to make decisions because it means more work, defaulting instead to rules and systems.
Then there is the laziness of rules of thumb or leaning on past experiences, which means nobody has to think very hard about issues. Lazy people don’t tend to accept personal responsibility for the state of the community and the decision needed.
Doing the hard work involves embracing uncertainty, dancing with fear and taking responsibility before someone tries to give it to you. You stay in control.
Start from the beginning.
The fifth point of the compass is, where are you at now, where are the opportunities? To arrive at where you want to go, start at the beginning.
- What and where are the roots of today’s issues?
- Study the history of the community and the region?
- List the things that made the community like it is today?
- Is there a ‘community development’ committee you should talk to?
- Has there ever been one, and what did they achieve?
- Does the community have an up-to-date knowledge base you can refer?
- What are the good and bad issues associated with the local government?
- Has an opportunity scan ever been undertaken by you?
- What have been the milestones in the community’s development?
- Who are the people who made the community great, the movers and shakers?
- What happened to the movers and shakers? Have they been ‘flogged’ to death?
- Is there a local government Business Plan available to you?
- What marketing has there been in the past?
- How has the infrastructure changed, and will it be changing in the foreseeable future?
- Is the current infrastructure adequate for a fresh approach?
- Be naive enough to do things differently; anyone can do the same old stuff.
- Never let the fear of getting involved stop you.
Given enough helpful information and knowledge, it becomes easier to chart possible solutions for the future of most towns and villages. But, unfortunately, many want the ‘big fix’ without considering the underlying circumstances or the people who have gone before them. Thus, it results in the “here we go again” syndrome, and opportunities are lost.
“You become whom you associate with, avoid dishonest, negative or lazy people, and associate with people who share your values”. Peter Sergeant
“Stop giving energy to the things you don’t want and can’t control. As a leader and manager, be confident; you can do everything better, faster, and more efficiently by engaging other people”. Peter Sergeant