Liz Wiseman, Stagnation and Burnout Zone

 “We all know one of those colleagues — bright and driven, but wasting away in a job they’ve been doing for years. They may be working hard, but they are trapped in old thinking and stuck in a rut, often putting as little thought into their work routine as their daily shampooing routine — lather, rinse, repeat. Some just look stale, while others start to stink. With each passing day, their hard-earned knowledge and skills become more obsolete, and they become less fit to work elsewhere. It is painful to watch.”

-Liz Wiseman

Liz Wiseman is a management consultant. She is author of books like Multiplier, Rookie Smarts etc.

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Based on her research, she has identified what she calls as burnout zone. Before you reach burnout zone, you start stagnating.

When you are on top of things, stagnation starts. You become comfortable, start feeling good about yourself, keep getting positive feedback etc. but after some time boredom creeps in, you are more interested in fixing other people’s problems than improving yourself. Slowly you start having negative feeling about things and start getting annoyed about certain things. Next step is burnout zone.

“When the world is changing quickly, experience can become a curse, trapping us in old ways of doing and knowing, while inexperience can be a blessing, freeing us to improvise and adapt quickly to changing circumstances.”

― Liz Wiseman

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In burnout zone you are idling, you are working in comfort zone and limiting your professional growth.

“Experience is not the enemy: It is the hubris that is often a by-product of experience that is our greatest enemy.”

― Liz Wiseman

'We're the largest, strongest things on this planet! Why change now?'

To move out of this zone Liz recommends certain things like,  talking to strangers, take views of people who are not from your business/funtion, expand network and perspective. You can take a job you are not qualified for; this will move you out of comfort zone. Throw out your best practices and develop new practices fit for the new realities of work. Try shredding your crib notes, stump speeches and other templates that have you stuck in a rut.

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“What man actually needs is not some tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him.”

― Liz Wiseman

In other words golden era is over; get ready to catch the next wave.

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