The wheel was invented in the year 4000 BC, give or take a minute.
I think we can all agree that there’s not a lot that can be done at this point to improve upon it. At least not in terms of its shape.
But that never stopped people from trying. Unfortunately.
In 2019, 6,000 years after its invention, somebody was loopy enough to try and reinvent the wheel.
Now, keep in mind, their version sucks. Mostly because it’s square.
Yes, somebody made a bike with square wheels that works.
Don’t get me started on the pointlessness of this.
Oh wait, I already got started.
Welp, I guess I should keep going then.
Water is essential for the human body. Humans can survive for about 3 weeks without food but only 3 days without water.
It’s a good thing that water has no calories, no fat, no sugar and no carbs. Clean water has nothing in it besides, well, water.
Imagine how different our existence would be if our essential ingredient was, say, a double cheeseburger. If humanity even existed (which it wouldn’t) we’d all be dead by the age of twenty.
I’d put water up there as one of the most miraculous inventions in the universe. I don’t think it needs fixing. But that’s me.
The fine folks at Sapporo apparently don’t agree with me. They thought they could do one better. In a move that baffles all human sensibility, they released a line of Diet Water.
They actually did this. Seriously. Don’t believe me? I wouldn’t either – check it out 👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼
If you’re not sure why this is so absurd, let me remind you that there’s nothing you can change, add or remove from water that would make it “diet”.
It’s just water.
I’m not sure how much time the Sapporo R&D, marketing, and sales departments spent on this poppycock, but I can assure you it was way too much.
I once worked with a company that placed a high value on meetings. Like a ridiculously high value.
The leader believed that if you weren’t in meetings you weren’t working.
Even worse, if you weren’t invited to the important meetings, you simply had no political power within the company. Heaven forbid you’re a VP who doesn’t get invited to a meeting with the President. You might as well commit seppuku right there and then.
At one point the leader felt that company productivity had started declining. He wondered why employees weren’t being as productive as he expected them to be. To counteract this, he scheduled more meetings.
Complete and utter balderdash, amirite?
It makes just as much sense as square wheels and diet water. Which isn’t much.
And this, my friend, brings me to the entire reason why I’m all buggabooed about this stuff.
The Proof of Progress
All too often people confuse movement with progress.
Progress requires movement.
Movement isn’t always progress.
❌ Simply because somebody is walking, it doesn’t mean they are getting anywhere.
❌ Because you’re on a business call, it doesn’t mean it’s accomplishing anything.
✅ To achieve progress, you must have a specific goal and be moving toward the achievement of that goal.
Spending time building a square wheel or creating Diet Water all take movement. They take work and planning and effort. But I will argue that none of those efforts result in progress. It’s wasted movement.
As a business consultant and executive coach, I frequently see leaders mistake movement for progress.
Since I like you so much and I care about your success, I’m going to tell you the most common mistakes I see so that you can determine if you’re doing them yourself. But rather than me showing up at your front door with a mirror, I figure you can do the self-reflection part on your own.
When Movement Is Not Progress
5 Ways Leaders Mistake Movement for Progress
1. Reinventing The Wheel
Time and again, I’ve seen people work hard to create something that already exists. For instance, it’s surprisingly common for leaders to create new teams that are tasked to do the same job other people are already doing.
2. Poor Decision-making
A company’s decision-making process is a direct indicator of the company’s productivity. One of the most prevalent problems I see as a business consultant is leaders who do lots of talking about problems, but not much decision-making. They’ve got no clear decision-making process, and that leads to frustration and lack of progress.
3. Actionless Meetings
Meeting for meeting sake is movement for movement sake. It’s a waste of time. The essential purpose of any meeting is to make progress. And progress means having actionable takeaways.
Talk is movement.
Action is progress.
4. Chasing the Bouncing Ball
Early-stage entrepreneurs are well known for shifting focus every time they come up with a new great idea. They’re like cats at a laser show which, by the way, is incredibly annoying. Chasing every new idea leads to a lot of movement with nothing close to progress. And it sure annoys the people who have to work for you.
❌ Not having the tough conversations.
❌ Not creating that presentation that really needs to get done. Like, now.
❌ Planning and planning and planning, but never actually doing.
The fact that you are avoiding the most important thing that you need to do is the best example of you doing a lot of movement with no progress.