Have you ever been Stuck in the Middle Seat™ on a long flight? It’s not very fun, is it? No room to stretch out, people on both sides of you who are oblivious to the fact that you have no place to put your baggage … or your elbows! This can lead to some pretty long, uncomfortable trips.
Taking this a step further, being Stuck in the Middle Seat™ can also represent any number of uncomfortable, unpleasant things in life. Of course, at its most basic and literal level, it’s a physical location. You’re in a house, office, or environment that is uncomfortable. Perhaps it is too noisy, you don’t get along with your neighbors, or your basic safety needs are not met. More often, however, it is a metaphor for a state of mind or an attitude. You’re in a career, relationship or “place” that isn’t optimal, yet for some reason you don’t take the steps to change your situation. In essence, you’re stuck. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Moving beyond being Stuck in the Middle Seat™ is a challenge all of us face, sooner or later.
Another way to look at being “stuck” is with your employee, customer or client relationships. Perhaps you have enjoyed a long period of business success, or market dominance and feel pretty comfortable. Upon closer examination, however, is there any chance you or your team have grown a bit complacent or feel “entitled” to your success? The first step in losing market share is when a leader or organization begins to rest on its laurels, and grows complacent. Success can lead to complacency … “we’re the best, why change?” Complacency can lead to arrogance. “We know the market better than anyone else, including our employees and customers.” Arrogance almost always leads to a disconnect from the customer and eventual failure.
So, the choice is yours. Do nothing, or take action. Are you willing to take the steps necessary to move beyond being Stuck in the Middle Seat™, however you identify it? It doesn’t matter if you identify areas in your personal or professional life. The key is to take action. Being too comfortable, complacent, risk-averse or simply afraid to make changes will only ensure that you are going to remain Stuck in the Middle Seat™!
So, all aboard, let the journey begin!
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About Doug Lipp
What is the magic of Disney? Join Doug as he takes you on an entertaining and insightful journey, “behind the scenes,” to discover both the secret of Disney’s success and how it and other organizations have overcome spectacular challenges. As an internationally acclaimed expert on customer service, leadership, change and global competitiveness for over 30 years, Doug has inspired and challenged over 1000 audiences and 200,000 individual attendees. His combination of high energy entertainment and thought-provoking lessons is contagious, motivating audiences around the world to maximize both personal and professional success.
Formerly the Head of Training at Disney’s Corporate Headquarters, Doug provided the famous Disney University “Traditions” program and developed leadership courses for Disney executives. Pivotal in Doug’s career with Disney was his experience in the mid-80’s when the corporate culture changed from the arrogant: “We’re the best; why change?” to the progressive: “Don’t rest on your laurels” powerhouse corporation that Disney remains today. Doug found that even strong organizations, like Disney, must embrace change and be willing to innovate.
Fluent in Japanese, Doug was on the start-up team for Tokyo Disneyland, Disney’s first international theme park. After leaving Disney, he co-founded, with a Stanford University professor, the Intercultural Relations Institute. Based upon his rich career at Disney, plus his work as an international consultant for some of the world’s most admired corporations and business leaders, Doug explores the strategic necessity of why all companies must now think globally, and act locally. Learn how companies such as IBM, Starbucks, Procter & Gamble, Siemens and Intel have benefited from those lessons.
He is the author of numerous articles and seven books on leadership, customer service and international business, including his two most popular: “The Changing Face of Today’s Customer: How to Attract and Retain a Diverse Customer and Employee Base.” With a foreword by renowned business leader Peter Ueberroth, head of the US Olympic Committee and Ken Blanchard of One Minute Manager fame, “The Changing Face” addresses how businesses can thrive in this era of cultural diversity and global competitiveness. Doug’s other most popular title is “Even Monkeys Fall from Trees: The Art and Science of Outstanding Customer Service” which focuses on a balanced approach to service, leadership and teamwork.
Doug customizes every keynote presentation or workshop to the client’s specific needs. Known across corporate America and around the world for his captivating and humorous story-telling style of delivery, Doug challenges his audience to take action and get results!