Chapter 33Sloth Out, Loyal In

The Challenge

Leaders commonly mistake someone who works a lot of hours for some one who has a great work ethic. In reality, the person doesn't put much into the hours he or she is at work because sloth has taken hold of his or her life. At the same time, leaders wrongly designate one as being loyal simply because he or she has been on the job for a number of years without enough regard for the actual performance he or she has put into the years. By failing to face reality about people, mediocrity is tolerated too long, inflicting ongoing damage to team culture, chemistry, morale, momentum, and results.

Sloth Looks Like It Sounds

If there were ever a word that looks in practice like it sounds when you say it, sloth is it. Sloth is defined as “habitual disinclination to exertion; indolence; laziness” (, n.d.). Sadly, sloth has become a cultural reality in nations, where governments increasingly take more from those who work and give it to those who won't; in families, where entitled and lazy kids emulate Peter Pan and never grow up or leave their parents' nest; and in sports, where even the lazy, disrespectful kids have accumulated shelves of worthless participation trophies and ribbons simply for showing up—not for working hard and standing out. Sloth is the natural assassin of consistent execution, and it shows its ugly face in many ways throughout a workplace:

  • Employees are passive throughout the day, waiting for something to ...

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