The Flames of Discontent

The most successful people know that good enough really isn’t. In fact, they know that good enough is just a mirage and accepting anything as “good enough” merely puts you on the path to mediocrity. 

 

Tony Gwynn, the San Diego Padres Baseball great said that the minute you’re satisfied with where you’re at you’re not there anymore. In that same vein, the second you believe what you’ve done is good enough it isn’t. 

 

Authentic Leaders do not accept good enough from themselves or their people. They fan the flames of constructive discontent until the desire for improvement burns hotter than the comfort of the current.

 

Those leaders take a humble pride in their accomplishments but ensure their future success by realizing that they can do better. They drive towards continual continuous improvement and bring their people and organization along for the ride. 

 

Introspection is a key for constructively discontented leaders. They evaluate their performance and then reevaluate. You’ll never hear them explaining that the reason they do something is simply because they always have. They know exactly why they do what they do and they know that one day they will do it differently…. and better. 

 

Leaders who long for improvement learn to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. They realize that if they aren’t trying something new from time to time then they simply aren’t trying at all. They accept the risk of failure as the price for continual success and are not afraid to take a path that others didn’t even see. 

 

They are careful not to “read their own press.” They accept the recognition that comes with success but have pretty short memories and they use their past success only to guide themselves even higher. 

 

The most Authentic Leaders use their own success to help their people achieve uncommon results. Sometimes they push their people towards success, sometimes they pull them and oftentimes they come along side of them to bring them on a common journey. 

 

They fall at times but that only slows their climb, it does not stop them. 

 

The most successful leaders, and the most successful people, know that continued success lies in finding contentment in constructive discontent. They are never fully satisfied but that in its own way is uniquely satisfying to highly successful people. 


If you’re satisfied with where you’re at or with what you’ve accomplished then get yourself unsatisfied as soon as possible anyway you can. Learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable and your success will know no limits.