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Be Proud, but Never Satisfied

Once you’ve made some big plays and delivered on key milestones, the journey doesn’t end; you need to prepare to come back stronger. Being proud but never satisfied is an attitude. It’s a mentality where you always strive to do better. It doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy your accomplishments or don’t celebrate. But never being satisfied is about celebrating your accomplishments and continuing to grow. They go hand in hand. 

Never being satisfied is important in business, in sports, and in life. It is actually one of the best defenses against complacency. Complacency has killed thousands of great businesses and careers (corporate and pro sports). Complacency is particularly harmful during the postseason—when we’ve seen some early success and convinced ourselves that we’re good enough. It is even more harmful during the off-season after we’ve won. While we can get immediate negative feedback for complacency during the playoffs by losing the game or failing to deliver results, there is minimal feedback during the off-season. By the time you see the warning signs, it may be too late, and you might be headed well into the execution mode. So, you must continue to improve and hold yourself accountable, especially when no one’s watching. 

In business, not being satisfied translates to the following: 

  1. Having an Underdog Mentality
    At an organization and individual level, this mindset tackles complacency. Because businesses are getting disrupted and many career skill sets are becoming commoditized, having an underdog mentality leads you to consistently find new opportunities for growth. Champions always keep their head on a swivel. They execute with the mentality that someone else is coming for their job.I always think back to some of the interviews featuring The Rock—Dwayne Johnson. He mentioned that in the mid ’90s, he was cut from the CFL (Calgary Stampeders) and went back home to Tampa Bay with just seven dollars in his pocket. What drove him to succeed were these hard times. In 2021, when he was worth millions of dollars and the highest-paid actor according to Forbes, he attributed his success to always remember ing where he came from. Regardless of how successful he was, those hard times give him that motivation to continuously strive for greatness.
  2. Finding Perspective
    Leaders never let an easy job, a great track record, or a strong market where delivering results are easy stop them from going above and beyond. They don’t allow past years’ performances to translate into a false sense of pride. They always take a step back and put things into perspective. Regardless of how great of a year you had, there is always someone who did it better. Seeing where you fit pushes you to become relentless and builds resilience. There’s always more.
  3. Leading by Example
    People follow the example of role models. A leader cannot expect greatness from their team if he or she does not walk the talk. A leader must continue setting the tone regardless of how far the team has come. A leader must always maintain high standards. Hard work and high standards are contagious, and these are the building blocks of a culture with relentless drive.

It all starts with leadership. It starts with taking action against mediocrity. It starts with setting high standards. It starts with you.

Written by Tanvir Bhangoo. Excerpted from The P.R.O. Business Mindset: How to Lead Amid Disruption and Chaos.

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Tanvir Bhangoo
Tanvir Bhangoo is the CEO of TB Momentum, a leadership training and consulting firm that works with multinational businesses and Fortune 500’s to help them transform and adapt to an ever-changing world. He is also the author of The P.R.O. Business Mindset: How to Lead Amid Disruption and Chaos.

Tanvir Bhangoo is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine. You can follow him on LinkedIn. For more information, visit the author’s website.