Tag Archives: mediocrity

Expect Opposition

This is part 6 of a 12 part series that I call the 12 X’s of Leadership

If you have been following this series of blogs (Hi mom and dad), you know that two of the first 5 X’s we have discussed include Extracting a Dream and Expressing Your Vision to Others. Both sound reasonable, make sense, and you may even be tempted to try them out. But this X provides a warning…sometimes when you do have a dream, goal, or target and you share it with others—let’s just say they are not as excited about it as you.

Have you ever noticed how some people are dream destroyers or target trashers?

I’m not sure they do it on purpose, but nonetheless they seem to have a way of taking all the air out of your balloon before you even have a chance to let it fly.

Now, while you may not be able to identify them by sight, you have certainly heard their discouraging words:

“Oh, good luck getting somebody to hire you with your experience.”

“Why bother even trying, you don’t have a shot at that opportunity.”

“You think you have a chance to get on that team…what have you been smoking?”

When you have a goal, dream, or target and you share it, you open yourself up to ridicule and criticism. You see there are a lot of cynics out there who do not have goals…they are content just coasting along taking the path of least resistance taking pot shots at others. They are comfortable with mediocrity.

Let me tell you about mediocrity…

It recognizes greatness.
It resents it.
And it seeks to pull it down.

These folks like to try and build themselves up, not by improving themselves but, by pulling you down.

Cynicism is cancer of the attitude.

So what do you do when someone tries to cut down your dream, your idea, your goal? Write them off. Like water off a duck’s back, let their words just fall off you. Don’t even allow them to hang out in your head for a moment.

Trust me. You will almost always encounter opposition in this life. Now, if you know this is the truth…don’t let it throw you off your game. Be prepared for it. And in the immortal words of Winston Churchill, “Never give up. Never give up. Never give up.”


The longer I live the more I see the negative impact that mediocrity can have in virtually any situation. From a mediocre project team member pulling the team down, to a mediocre waiter ruining a nice dinner out, to a mediocre parent unwilling to say or do the hard things that good parenting sometimes requires… mediocrity, at its core, is really something most of us would like to avoid.

For those who truly aspire to do great things, beware of the mediocre in your midst. You see mediocrity recognizes greatness… resents it… and seeks to pull it down. Rather than rejoice with or emulate greatness, when the mediocre encounter it, they want to destroy it. You see, true greatness makes the mediocre feel “less than” and rather than work harder to become better, the mediocre would rather you become mediocre too.

It could be the athlete who tells his teammates to slow down during pre-season wind sprints, or the teacher who tells her colleague to stop using so much technology in the classroom, or even the sales rep who belittles a coworker for staying late, the bottom line is they do not want to work harder to get better and they don’t like that you do.

Watch out for the cynics too. Cynical people are sometimes nothing more than mediocrity with a bad attitude (which they try and mask by cutting everything else down). You can almost hear them rolling their eyes as they talk. Cynicism is cancer of the attitude and you do not need to hang out with it. You deserve better.