3 Ways Ordinary Leadership Kills Your Profits

Someone is killing your profits.  Who could it be?

Several suspects come to mind.  We could suspect global competitors who undercut our prices.  We could suspect the government as they raise the cost of labor.  We could even suspect the quality of employees.

But what would the evidence tell us?  Where would the investigation lead?

I have observed organizations over the last three decades and often find that the killing is usually an inside job.  As much as we want to find others guilty, it usually comes down to our own leadership.  The evidence I have found leads directly to the ordinary approach that is often touted as best practices.

Let me explain.

1.  Ordinary Kills Peculiarity

Very few would argue that ordinary is good.  Yet most of us lead our lives determined to be popular.  We strive to be in the favored group, wearing fashionable clothing and listening to the in vogue music.  So many strive to be in that popular group.

The problem is that popular often erodes principles and promise.  To be popular, we have to play to what others think is cool, fun and trendy.  We dare not be different lest we be rejected for being odd, peculiar or down right weird.   So we play it safe and stay tuned to the current trends and the opinion leaders.  The ultimate problem is that we choose to follow those that are popular rather than lead cutting edge opportunities.


When we aspire to be popular, we purposely work to become like someone else.  We deny our own uniqueness for the public affirmation of the popular.  In striving to be popular, we become ordinary.  

Being ordinary is a problem because those that disrupt the mainstream find their opportunities in being different.  When we purposely become peculiar, we start to see what the popular group has overlooked.  That is where we find products and services that are significantly better, faster and cheaper.  Peculiar is where we shift paradigms and wander into the wilderness.  That is where the cutting edge thinking comes from.  Popularity prevents that disruption.

2. Ordinary Kills Promise

Everyone has a unique talent, perspective and spirit that offers the world incredible value.  However, most organizations and leaders purposely squelch that individuality.  They want, actually they demand, conformity because they believe it is the best business practice.  That might have been true in the industrial age of manufacturing but in today’s Knowledge and Connection Economy, it is a lie.  Today, organizations thrive when they build relationships, connecting to collaborate and create.  Collaboration and creation is not possible if the person we are connecting with can only replicate.  To thrive in this economy, both people must bring something unique to the table.  We cannot do that if we are ordinary.  We must find our own promise and then recognize the promise in others.

Many organizations are ignoring a critical department that can save their profits.  Human Resources is the most connected yet under-appreciated department in the organization. In a connection economy, Human Resources is a vital link to finding the promise in every employee.  Connect with HR, collaborate with them to shift paradigms and leverage the power of every individual.  Most organizations and most Human Resources professionals themselves do not realize how perfectly positioned H.R. is to create radical and disruptive change.  (Like my blog because we will be discussing this topic in future posts.)

3.  Ordinary Kills Profits

If we cannot connect with our own promise or the promise of others, we cannot sense and seize the best opportunities to make more money.  The Connection Economy rewards disruptive innovators.  So if the current economy rewards innovation and you are still replicating ordinary products and services, the blood is on your hands.  You are killing your own profits.

You can blame it on the competitors, economy, customers or employees.  But it is not them them – it is you.  If you are striving and settling for ordinary, you are not finding the promise in any of those connections.  Probe for the promise in each individual inside and outside the organization.  Pursue the peculiar in mindset as well as products and services.

The Extraordinary Challenge

Unlike a murder mystery, we still have the opportunity to bring our profits back from the dead.  But it takes a radical approach,

  1.  Embrace the Peculiar.  Leave the ordinary mindset behind and purposely pursue different perspectives
  2. Encourage Their Promise.  Look closer for the promise that each employee, customer, idea and opportunity presents.  Look within and appreciate the promise that you offer when you leave the ordinary mindset behind.
  3. Shift the Paradigm.  Latch onto the principles  of the Connection Economy.  Connect for the purpose of Collaborating to Create.  It is then you will unleash the ultimate performance, production and profits.


Be Bold

Be Decisive

Become the Disruptive Leader

I am Dr. Loren Murfield and I develop disruptive leaders .  If you are either an aspiring leader or a leader emerging in the Connection Economy and you are determined to leverage your power, contact me today.

Checkout my online leadership platform.  Power University

Like this post.
Share this post on your social media.
Follow me on twitter @theOpProf

(c) Murfield International, Inc.  2016

Leave a Reply