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The Elevator Button: Habitual Leadership Patterns

Imagine this scene: A slightly impatient individual stands in front of an elevator, tapping the call button repeatedly. Despite pressing it several times, the elevator doesn’t arrive any faster. Observers might chuckle, noting that it’s a behavior they’ve witnessed countless times. Yet, many don’t realize that this seemingly trivial action reflects deeply rooted human tendencies.

Understanding The ‘Elevator Button’ Syndrome

Every leader needs to ask themselves a pivotal question: Where in your professional journey have you been metaphorically pressing that elevator button, expecting different outcomes despite repetitive actions? Such behavior might seem benign when waiting for an elevator, but in leadership, it can hinder growth and innovation.

The ‘elevator button’ scenario is all too familiar in business environments. Leaders often rely on tried-and-true methods, even when they’re no longer effective. It’s not just about the literal pressing of a button; it’s a metaphor for how leaders sometimes operate on autopilot.

Why Do Leaders Press the Same Button?

The human mind has an affinity for patterns. These patterns offer comfort, predictability, and a semblance of control. So, when faced with uncertainty or a challenge, the initial reaction is to revert to familiar behaviors, even if they aren’t producing desired results. It’s an instinctive, almost reflexive, response.

But here’s a playful thought: If leaders were to treat every challenge like an elevator ride, they might spend their entire careers stuck in the lobby! Leadership requires breaking away from habitual patterns to explore new approaches.

Embracing Change: Shifting Away from the ‘Button’

  1. Self-Awareness: Recognize when you’re metaphorically pressing that elevator button. Being aware of repetitive behaviors is the first step towards change.
  2. Questioning the Status Quo: Ask yourself, “Is this approach still effective? Are there alternative strategies to explore?”
  3. Seeking Feedback: Engage with your team and peers. They can provide insights into patterns you might overlook.
  4. Flexibility: Understand that not every strategy will be a home run. Be open to adjusting and trying new methods.

Evolving Beyond Habitual Patterns

The reality is, a vast majority of the world might be content with repeatedly pressing that elevator button, expecting different outcomes. However, today’s leaders are presented with an opportunity. An opportunity to consciously choose not to be bound by repetitive actions and to explore new avenues.

Imagine the incredible progress and innovation that could be achieved if, instead of bemoaning, “Why does this always happen to me?”, leaders paused to reflect, “What can I do differently this time?”

In conclusion, while waiting an extra minute for an elevator might not make a significant impact, in leadership, those metaphorical minutes add up. Don’t spend your leadership journey waiting in the lobby; explore the various floors of possibil

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