Let Go of Your Teddy Bear (or Have it Taken From You)

Recently, I was talking with a dear friend who was sharing with me some opportunities (code word for challenges) they were experiencing in business. Then my friend (who shall remain nameless and genderless) said: “Some people in business need to let go of their teddy bears.” My ears perked up like an owl. I prodded, “Tell me more.”

This person went on to say that some individuals want to hold onto their turf—their headcount, department/division, and methods for how they think things should get done. It’s the classic pursuit of broadband results using dial up methods.

Your teddy bear represents your comfort zone—what you know and fight to hold onto.

It also represents scarcity thinking instead of operating in abundance. It’s the part of you that hesitates to close one door so that many more may open.

Anyone who comes in to take away a person’s teddy bear—or shift a person from their perceived place of power—is interpreted as the enemy.

What happens next are a ton of offline conversations sparked by “teddy bear huggers,” aka groupthink,” looking to undermine the very person that can help them evolve and thrive.

Here’s the reality: if you know any teddy bear huggers, let them know that if they don’t read the tea leaves of change, then the “jaws of life” will pry from their hands what they have held onto forever. The signs of teddy bear huggers are simple – they prefer to stick with their own tried and true methods instead of being open to changing.

They will hold onto talent when it makes more sense to lose the headcount and not backfill the position. They will only partner with other areas of the organization if it personally benefits their team.

Here are three simple ways to elevate your thinking and let go of your teddy bear:

Will what I am doing or what my team is doing be automated or eliminated by Artificial Intelligence? If so, challenge the status quo and “CREATE a reason for the company or business to continue to invest in you.

Your new BFF in business is the Data Scientist. Identify this person and take them to lunch, kiss their ring, bow when you see them, and by all means think of them as Michael Corleone in the movie The Godfather. Okay, that might be a bit of a stretch.But here is the reality: the analytics of your business are being shared with senior brass, and if they think you are skating by and not pulling your weight, then your area of responsibility is candidate for being flattened.

Pick up a copy of Thomas Friedman’s book, The World is Flat. Until you let go of the teddy bear and close the door it represents, you cannot receive what wants to emerge.