Hustle and bustle = Performance that is lackluster

I’ve seen two extremes in my fifteen plus years in the credit union movement. I’ve seen credit union leaders so paralyzed by fear of change that their credit union dies on the vine. It’s like walking into granny’s house, a house that has not changed in years. (That yellow corded rotary phone is still on the wall and the 1988 phone book is still in the cabinet underneath.) I talk a lot about fear of change in this blog because it’s a common occurrence.

I’ve also seen credit union so afraid of failing that they hustle and bustle and grasp on to every new idea, half-heartedly implement it just to go live, and then move on to the next big thing, often forgetting that this “thing” they just implemented still exists in six weeks. One project down, three more added to the list. It’s mass chaos and the team doesn’t know which end is up. The KPI is whatever is urgent this week and the focus is whatever fire is burning currently. The strategy sounds more like an ad for shoes: “Just Do It.”

The ancient philosopher Seneca said “For love of bustle is not industry, it is only the restlessness of a hunted mind.” But he also said this: “True repose does not consist in condemning all motion as merely vexation. That kind of repose is slackness and inertia.”

So, which is it? Both. A heathy mix of where you land right on the middle. Matthew McConaughey was a guest on a podcast and talked about this very issue. “I had five proverbial campfires on my desk,” he said. He had a production company, a music label, a foundation, his acting career, and his family. He realized he was doing too much. Way too much. He called his lawyer and shut down the production company and the music label. “I was left with the three things that were most important to me. And those three campfires turned into bonfires. I majored in my majors. I got rid of two minors that I was trying to major in. I had been making C’s in everything, but when I got rid of five classes and concentrated on the three I really wanted, I started making A’s.”


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