It’s Not That You’re Lazy, It’s . . .

. . . you don’t give a shit!

A client of mine said something the other day that stuck with me. She looked at her team after they had been demonstrating “lazy” behavior, as few of them had been doing what they needed to do, and she said,”No one here is lazy. There is no such thing as ‘lazy.’ It’s that you just don’t care enough, don’t see enough value or you’re not prioritizing things correctly, and that’s why stuff isn’t getting done.”

She nailed it.

As leaders or managers it’s easy to judge people who don’t get shit done as lazy, it’s not that they are lazy, it’s they are not compelled to act.

We may not like the reason someone isn’t taking action, but calling it lazy is simply a catchall phrase and not the reason. Therefore, understanding why someone isn’t acting is important for the leader and the employee if it’s gonna get fixed.

For sales leaders, understanding why a member of your team isn’t getting something done can be key in creating change and improvement. The trap of assuming they’re lazy is too easy to get sucked into. It’s our default mechanism. We need answers for failure and underperformance and attributing it to lazy removes all the blame from us and puts it squarely on the other person.

People aren’t lazy, they just don’t give a shit and there are two variable to fix it.

1) The individual

At the end of the day, we all have to be accountable to ourselves. We need to meet our commitments and get things done. If we are having a hard time, we need to fix that. If we’re unmotivated, then we need to find new motivation. If we don’t know what to do, we need to ask for help. If we’re tired, we need to find a way to recharge. Regardless of our challenges, it’s incumbent upon us to address what is preventing us from delivering and get with the program. It’s not OK to just punt. Punting doesn’t mean we’re lazy, it means we don’t give a shit, and therefore we figure out what it’s gonna take to make to give a shit.

2) Leadership

The other element behind addressing motivation is leadership. Leaders have a tremendous amount of opportunity to make things matter. Leaders can inspire, incentivize, excite, grow, engage, and motivate people. When they focus on people’s needs, desires, and motives, leaders can make things matter and when things matter people move.

It’s time we stop calling people lazy and call it what it is; people not giving a shit, leaders and individuals alike and until everyone gives a shit, nothing is going to get done.

I love what my client said. There is no such thing as lazy; it’s just that no one gives a shit.