Good Habits, Better Habits and Change

Good Habits are always good, right? Well, maybe not always. Stephanie Vozza recently wrote at the Fast Company blog about how some good habits may be holding you back. How can this be?

It can be because of change. We face change more and more today. It happens in places it did not used to happen. It happens faster than ever before and often it is more disruptive than in the past. As a result what worked well yesterday will not necessarily work well tomorrow. It may not work at all.

Vozza cites arguments made by Rod Favaron, CEO and president of technology company Spredfast. He came in to lead a startup and now that they have some sustained success he finds he is leading a different kind of company. He finds that what worked for the startup does not necessarily work for the more established business.

Vozza also points out that what might have worked well in one company may not work well at all in another company. People move from one business to another more often these days so this could be very important.

All these points are well made but I suggest they only tell part of the story. There are some universal habits based on unchanging principles that do not change. Habits based on acting with integrity for example serve one well regardless of the change around us. Acting with integrity may well be more important in a rapidly changing world.

I suggest that the challenge is to discern between those habits that still serve you well and those that may not. To help make that distinction I suggest these steps:

  1. Is the habit based on a timeless principle such as integrity or honesty? If it is it will not likely lose effectiveness regardless of what else changes.
  2. Is the habit still working? Does getting up and running every morning still contribute to your fitness?
  3. Has the habit failed to keep up with technology? Can email better communicate to an organization than a paper memo?

Although Vozza’s article was directed at young companies transforming from startups to a second stage growth the principles involved in evaluating the continuing value of a habit can apply equally to other situations including our private lives.

Learn how you can achieve more and realize your goals in my book, The Success Essentials.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.