The Groundhog Day Effect – Professional Presence

Groundhog DayOne of the usual phenomena of a “career” is the inevitable conclusion that you have done this before. Whether it is an assignment, or a situation, or simply the mood you bring into the office, everyone reaches a point where something seems pretty familiar. It is not surprising then that our response follows the same pattern – “I have done this before, and here’s what I did, so will start there…”

Sometimes what you did before worked. Sometimes what you did before didn’t work but felt right. In any case, what you did before may not be relevant to today. Maybe it would take too much energy to do something different. Or maybe, since we are creatures of habit who essentially crave stability, we struggle with realizing change may be necessary. but our conditioning traps us into our comfortable pattern.

As a leader, of course you need to be self-aware of this effect on yourself. However, you need to also be aware of the effects on your team, your peers, and your boss. As a champion of change, you set the tone, you recognize the traps, the ruts, the conditioned response, and the opportunities. Everyday you walk in to the office, it is within your power to start fresh, take a different look, and help your team through the same process.

You can choose to carry over your anger or frustration from the day before, or reset yourself. As a transformational leader, you are your first experiment, and each day brings an opportunity.

Nothing has to go exactly the way it went last time. It’s your call.