You’re a coward! Yes, you!
“It takes one to know one.”
Indeed, it does, which is why I feel confident in calling you out. Because much like you, I hate tough conversations and big decisions. I loathe big, time-consuming projects and taking the long road to avoid the inevitable high costs of corner cutting – even when I know it’s the right one. However, I’ve learned to endure.
In many of his writings, the ancient philosopher Seneca describes himself as a “cold water enthusiast.” Literally. Just as easily as I am writing this article or pondering strategy for one of my credit union marketing clients, Seneca would celebrate the start of each new year by diving into the Virgo aqueduct (known today as the Trevi Fountain).
It wasn’t just a fun tradition for Seneca. No.
“The body should be treated more rigorously that it may not be disobedient to the mind.”
It wasn’t just a fun tradition for Seneca. The real reason to do these things is far simpler: It’s to make a statement about who is in charge. So, I ask you: Who is in charge – your courageous side or your cowardly side?
The side that doesn’t mind a wee bit of discomfort or the side that clings to comfort like an infant’s security blankie? The side that pushes through the fear and does the hard thing, or the side that takes the easy way to avoid conflict and tough conversations?
Seneca’s point was, how can you endure the cold fear of a new idea challenging your beliefs when you can’t even endure a few minutes of cold water? How can you begin to make a big, bold decision when you can’t even make a nearly meaningless decision?
I can look at a credit union’s numbers and instantly know the decision-making process of its leadership. You’re comfortable letting those negative numbers drag on because you’re avoiding holding your team accountable.
In John Leger’s interview for the T-Mobile CEO position, he shared the one way he thought T-Mobile could fail: Just keep doing what you’re doing.
Perhaps it’s not feasible to jump into an icy body of water, but I challenge you to do one thing today that makes you uncomfortable. If your credit union marketing is stuck, perhaps that one decision is reaching out and asking for help. I’ll make it easy. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I won’t judge, but I will ask the tough questions to help you get unstuck.