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Thought Leadership

Adam Bryant

Is it time to fire yourself?

May 18, 2022

Anyone can get stuck in a rut and become too invested in the initiatives they’ve launched.

No, that headline is not meant to suggest that this is another story about the “great resignation.” Rather, the question can be a useful provocation to help everyone step back from their job and see it with fresh eyes. If you were your boss, what would be your clear-eyed assessment of the work you’ve been doing? Being able to assess your own work accurately is particularly important in this era of relentless disruption, given that simply maintaining the status quo is a surefire strategy for falling behind.

It’s neither easy nor comfortable to create some distance from the job you’ve been doing and to contemplate how you might do it differently. After all, as human beings, we crave a degree of certainty in our lives, particularly these days, when it feels like a dark cloud of dread hovers overhead. Another reason it’s hard is that we can become overly invested in the people we’ve hired and the initiatives or strategies we’ve launched. We naturally like to think we have good judgment, and therefore we look for clues that reinforce the smartness of our choices rather than constantly questioning them.

And so you need to, on occasion, entertain an unsettling question: is it time to fire yourself?

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The ExCo Group’s Adam Bryant wrote this article for his column in Strategy + Business.