The Secrets of Success: Stop Whining and Start Changing

A few years ago, I was in one of my clients' offices and saw a sign that looked like this:

Nice thought. Not going to happen - unless something changes. People. Processes. Something.

So, let's talk about whining and change for a moment.

The reason that you or others complain (hopefully not whine) is because you don't like what's going on. Things aren't clear or consistent or rational. Priorities keep changing. You don't think the priorities should be what they are. There are too many politics being played out - all to the detriment of the organization...and possibly your career.

It gets worse.

There are innovations that you and others keep talking about that you want to put into place - but no one listens.

There are products, services and ways of doing business that would make the company more successful, your job easier and your life, in general, more enjoyable - but no one listens to that, either.

Okay, here's the thing. If you find yourself - in your head or out loud - sounding anything like what you just read, it's time to change.

Dissatisfaction is an indicator. But it's on you to make sure that dissatisfaction doesn't escalate into misery - yours or others'.

It just means it's time to change. Because you want to. Because you don't want to be dissatisfied anymore.

Sure there are things you can't control - but, let's face it, the higher-ups in your organization don't have a clue about what you're doing anyway...otherwise they probably wouldn't have let things get into the shape they're in. (You hope.)

So, start changing things. Little things. Then bigger things. Don't wait for permission - and, seriously, don't wait for some sort of organizational initiative that promises the world. It won't deliver.

And, whatever you do, don't wait for or count on consultants. They're really not going to solve your problem.

It's on you. Just as you do at home - where you're CEO, CFO, COO, CTO, CIO and more - if you don't like it, change it.

Do it in increments. Try things. Get others to join in the fun.

Every time a whine occurs, say, "Yeah, fine, but what's the answer?" Then, with the whiner in tow, say, "Okay, so, how about if we try...? And, no, we don't have to go ask permission. They may say 'no.' Let's just fix it."

If they're game, good. That's someone you want to stick with. If they're not game, lose them. They enjoy whining. It makes them happy. So, get them out of your way.

Which leads us to the last part of this particular secret: Look at yourself objectively the next time you find yourself whining. Because you may be a happy whiner - in which case, get the hell out of everyone else's way.

You may be happy being miserable, but there are lots more folks out there who are most happy when they're engaged, fixing things and being rewarded for their efforts.