E•nough: pronoun 1. as much or as many as required. adjective 1. to the required degree or extent.
Often proceeded by the words “never” or “not”.
Okay, that last part wasn’t really included in dictionary. It just feels like those words are frequently expressed together… as in “rarely enough time,” “not enough resources,” or “never good enough.” As leaders, we may often hear about or experience the concept of “enough” only when there is a lack of it — and as a result, even thinking about the word feels like a losing battle.
What if, instead, we started to look at “enough” as a motivator rather than a drain on our energy? Perhaps the key is to consider it at the beginning of the process, proactively identifying what is enough, rather than waiting until the end of an effort, and using it as an explanation of why we came up short. For example, what if you approached a challenging situation with your team from the perspective of “I am confident our team has enough experience and ingenuity to figure this out!” Suddenly, “enough” feels a lot more like a shot in the arm than a kick in the gut, doesn’t it?
When used as a planning tool, “enough” can provide a framework that allows us to unleash our best, most creative selves. We prioritize and make the most of what we have instead of continually looking for something more. “Enough” suddenly starts to feel like plenty. Go back and read that first definition — as much or as many as required. When we start with an abundance mindset, believing we have all that we require, it is amazing what a team of committed professionals can accomplish. To paraphrase Henry Ford, if you think you have enough, or if you think you don’t, you’re right.
Granted, this may feel a bit odd at first for those who have historically placed a scarcity descriptor (i.e. not, never, etc.) in front of the word enough. If that is the case in your organization, then it is your job as the leader to help frame “enough” as a source of abundance. Enough is all that you need. Would more be nice? It might seem like it. But if your success hinges on more, then victory always feels just outside your grasp. Once you start to proactively identify “how much or many are required” for the goal before you, one of two things will happen. You can either identify a path to get there, or look around and realize you already have the resources you need to succeed.
And that is enough.