Action movies. They’re fun, right? Lots of running around, exploding things, imminent danger, etc. The most unbearably beautiful people Hollywood could dig up narrowly avoid death and destruction at every turn. They save the day AND they get to wear cool leather jackets.
It’s exciting! It’s glamorous! It’s sexy! Everyone wants to be the hero, right?
I’m not here to tell you not to save the day when the time comes, but I am here to tell you this: there’s a time and a place for everything, and your business isn’t the place for heroics.
Have you ever noticed that, in order for there to be a hero, there has to be an enormous obstacle? That obstacle is a breach in the system - a social system (a mega villain), a natural system (a forest fire), or even a computer system (the elevators are stuck!) Whatever it is, it causes drama. And drama is the last thing you want in your business.
On the flip side, let’s talk about the nerdy systems engineer in the IT department. No one wants to be that person! They don’t get to do any of the cool stuff! They don’t save the day, they just tinker on their computers and buy pocket protectors in bulk on Amazon. Booorrrriiiiing.
But guess what? They, ARE saving the day. They’re saving every day all day every day because they’re maintaining a system. That system is what keeps the ball rolling. If there are no failures in the system, there’s no obstacle - no need for heroics - and that’s exactly how a systems engineer likes it.
Heroes exist because outside forces require them to exist, and to act. A systems engineer, on the other hand, spends their time carefully crafting and maintaining a balance that keeps emergencies at a minimum.
So, which one are you?
Take a hard look at yourself and your business. Are you spending all of your time putting out fires? Are you in a constant state of reaction? Do you feel like you’re addressing the same problems over and over?
If you answered “yes” to any of those, it’s time to evaluate your systems. What’s at the root of the situation? Until you take the time and do the often-arduous work of identifying your weaknesses (as a company and as a manager), you’ll be saving the day every day of your life.
You may be the owner of a business, but trust us: don’t be a hero.