How leaders can break free from mediocrity

Have you ever noticed that many people are walking head-down, going through the motions, looking down on their smart phones, mindlessly going about their day? So many of these people are sleeping, even when they’re moving. They’re living mediocre lives.

Creating an environment of thinking small, being insignificant and choosing a world of mediocrity has become acceptable. Even more than that, it has become the norm. People play a safe game. When did mediocrity become okay?

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What happened to people smiling, leaders driving change, being creative, and generating happiness? Not the fake smile happiness. I am talking about the inner revolution. Where possibilities are the norms, culture thrives and people shine. Where culture is permission to be you.

Collaborative mindsets are infectious. Positivity ubiquitous. Imagine every team member sharing the responsibility to spread company culture. What about adopting responsibility for self-management rather than titles, seniority and hierarchy?

Tony Hseih wrote a book called Delivering Happiness that’s about the human side of work. A world where employee satisfaction is the key to business success. Zappos invests lavishly in morale. Each month, employees can reward a co-worker with a $50 company bonus for going above and beyond.

Perhaps you have lost sight of what is truly important and too often focus on what you can’t control. What happens when you unleash happiness, unlock your potential and break free from the herd to create business success? Here’s the thing: You don’t need to be superhuman. Let’s look at how to break free from the cult of mediocrity.

Lead from purpose

Having a purpose means being able to see the bigger picture. Each leader can find purpose and bring it fully to their workplace and lives. Purpose creates a deeper sense of meaning which acts as an intrinsic motivator. It becomes a well that energizes us to keep going in the face of adversity. Purpose provides the foundation for striving something bigger than ourselves. Simon Sinek shares the biology of how great leaders inspire action through a contagious sense of purpose.

Surrender to mediocrity, deserve the shitty life

Conventional thinking perpetuates misery. Days pass blended into the next, sleeping, eating, working and moments of escapism as you check Facebook or watch a new TV show on Netflix. Limiting beliefs hold your thinking ransom: It’s too late to start over. You messed it up before. Who do you think you are, to deserve success?

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In the end, your thinking determines how you live. A life of choice, traded for a life of ease. You might find yourself pushed deeper and deeper into the abyss of the mundane, where people spend money for possessions to impress those around them. To fit in, they sacrifice their lives like sheep bound for the slaughterhouse.

Lead like a warrior

Cultivating your inner warrior, the sacred mixture of masculine and feminine energy, forms a deep sense of wholeness, confidence and inner joy. Speaking your truth creates alignment with how you live your life. Setting boundaries while pursuing what you love ignites your will. Focus on what you have control over – your effort and attitude. Zap negative thoughts out of your head and look for opportunity in every obstacle. Be relentless, ignore the naysayers and the dream stealers. Choose to move forward with total confidence and create your own destiny.

Break free from herd mentality

Despite a world of daily distractions, human beings have choices they can make to carve out a meaningful life. Distractions eat up valuable time that you could invest in self-development. To help you steer clear of the herd, be clear about where you’re heading. Be self-aware and don’t stare in the rear-view mirror. Knowledge is power. Educate yourself, invest in expanding your unfamiliar zones and find yourself a mentor.

Eradicate the fixed mindset

Dr Carol Dweck, a psychologist, spent decades researching the concept of a growth mindset. Dr Dweck defined two types of mindsets – fixed and growth mindsets. Leaders in a fixed mindset believe they either are or aren’t good at something, based on their inherent nature. People in a growth mindset believe they can improve through hard work and practice, as everything is an opportunity to grow your intelligence. The growth mindset reflects that your abilities are entirely due to your actions. Eliminate the excuses, blaming, lack of responsibility and reject a way of life that is soul-destroying. Take on new challenges with optimism.

To be different requires tenacity

Inaction will eat your mind alive. It will give you a death sentence for life. Consider this: In 2015 Netflix subscribers globally watched 42.5 billion hours of content. That’s so many hours of wasted time, immersed in doing nothing, disconnected from others and from life. While relaxing is never a bad thing, is that all you do? Don’t wait for someone else to build your idea. Sometimes you must make the big bet, say it out loud and then throw yourself right in so there’s no going back.

Purge toxic people from your life

Most advice given is provided by people who have not attained results in their own life. Instead they preach about what “we” should be doing. Seek advice from someone who has the results you want and eliminate the “Debbie Downers”. There is enough negativity in the world without it penetrating your inner circle and permeating within.

There is never the right moment

You cannot wait for the perfect set of circumstances. They do not not exist. Whether it be for the right person to come along and hold your hand or the someone to fly in to save the day. Don’t fall victim to simply existing, or be destined for the default path of being dominated by life. Make the decision to lead your life.

Build a culture of grit

Big ideas aren’t brought to fruition single-handedly. Culture amplifies when we collectively share the platform of where we are heading. Focus and grit are celebrated, kool-aid is tipped down the sink and the spirit of risk taking is honored. As your team grows, individually and collectively, those who practice company core values are rewarded.

Being mediocre is easy. Anybody can do it. And most people do. Following your passion, being crazy enough to try to change the world and standing for something important is hard. That’s bold.


Angela Kambouris is a highly-valued leadership coach and business leader having spent over 20 years in the field of vulnerability and trauma. She is super-passionate about unlocking human potential to deliver extraordinary results and has spoken on stages and worked with thousands of people in the areas of self-development, leadership, mindset, human behavior and business. She has master-minded with leaders and expert authorities in personal development and business all over the world.