Friday, August 1, 2014

Lean Quote: Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"Get comfortable being uncomfortable.— U.S. Navy SEALs

The U.S. Navy SEALs have a saying: "Get comfortable being uncomfortable." If you can be comfortable being uncomfortable, you'll be prepared to handle whatever situation comes along.

There have been many times as a Lean leader that I have been in uncomfortable situations. Change is not easy. Discomfort comes in many forms. But the more you embrace that as a reality, the wider your comfort zone becomes. This boosts confidence and provides the tools for facing even larger challenges down the road.

Leaders need to challenge their employees to move out of their comfort zone. You can’t move forward if you don’t grow and you can’t grow if you never leave your comfort zone. When possible, give your employees challenging assignments. Help them prepare by providing them a safe environment to learn from the mistakes that they are bound to make.

Moving beyond our comfort zones is how we can best learn and grow. The challenge is to resist our normal human instinct to seek comfort rather that discomfort. The key is to continually push beyond the comfort zone and drive continuous improvement to develop and strengthen your Lean thinking.


So when it comes to getting outside your comfort zone, don’t mistake magical outcomes for magical processes. Adaptation takes time, effort, strategy, and determination. But with a solid plan in place and the courage to take it forward, your results can be extraordinary.


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