3 Downsides of the Comfort Blanket

If you are in management or leadership role, your primary role is to deliver results.

In the early stages of their career, those who generally make it into management and leadership roles display many of the qualities and characteristics that are looked for.

What sometimes surprises me is that a fair number of those people when they get into a position of influence become so attached to the comfort blanket that they are actually much less effective than they could be.

We all know that taking a chance, stepping beyond the familiar and having a real go presents risks.

At the same time we probably all appreciate that we are rewarded at a higher level because there is an expectation that we will do what it takes to deliver results.

While holding on to the comfort blanket might seem attractive, there are downsides for leaders and managers in my view.

Downside 1: You Don’t Let Go

Look around any large organisation and chances are you will see both managers and leaders doing things that they should no longer be doing.

Often this is because it is much more comfortable to spend the time on what is familiar and easy than it is to start to really address the tough stuff.

Downside 2: You Lose Respect

Think about your career to date. I bet there were leaders and managers that you had huge respect for and others you respected a lot less.

As a leader or a manager people look to you to be the role model, to show the way, to have confidence, to inspire others.

If you are in the safety zone the chances of you getting real respect from others is greatly diminished.

Downside 3: You Create Doubt

If you are unwilling to let go of the comfort blanket, how can you ask others to step up and take a chance?

If others see that you are unwilling to let go, they will follow the lead.

Before you know it, you, your team and potentially the whole organisation are on a downward spiral.

In truth managing and leading is both challenging and rewarding. If you are going to deliver results as a leader you need to let go of the comfort blanket and support and encourage others to on your team to do the same.

Duncan Brodie of Goals and Achievements works with professionals and NHS organisations in the areas of change, improvement and leadership. Learn more here.