Four Ways to Overthrow the Status Quo

pumpkin-cage“I’m not interested in preserving the status quo; I want to overthrow it.” —Niccolo Machiavelli

By Elizabeth Stincelli, DM

No one ever succeeded by simply maintaining the status quo. The key to success is to constantly be growing, be changing, and be improving. In order to do these things, you must learn to not only question, but as Niccolo Machiavelli stated, overthrow the status quo. Here are four things you can do to get started.

New questions

One of the most obvious ways to overthrow the status quo is to start asking new questions. Ask questions about yourself, about your team, about your processes, about your goals, about the marketplace, and about your competition. Asking new questions helps keep you from falling into unproductive habits. Ask questions of others; encourage honest answers. Ask about plans and projects. Ask about the organization. Why do we do things this way? Does it work? Is there a better approach?

New people

You must understand that your own biases drive the way you view situations and the decisions that you make. To overthrow the status quo, try surrounding yourself with new people, the right people who can help you see through your biases. Build new relationships and get other people involved. Build yourself a team of subject matter experts and then learn to rely on their expert advice.

New information

You can’t know everything. To overthrow the status quo, embrace curiosity and learning as part of your daily routine. Seek out new and valuable information, not just what you want to hear or information that substantiates what you already believe. Evaluate your failures and mistakes. What can you learn from them? What new information do they provide you with?

New point-of-view

The world we work in is changing at breakneck speeds. In order to remain competitive, you must learn to look at situations from a new point-of-view. You must learn how to have a perspective that is fluid and flexible. A fixed position will no longer serve anyone’s best interest. Use a new vantage point to help overthrow the status quo.

Overthrow the Status Quo

Don’t default to the status quo; it won’t address the challenges to success that you will face. Use new questions, people, information, and points-of-view to reexamine situation, goals, processes, and ways of thinking. It’s a new world, one in which the environment you are operating in is changing fast. If you want to keep up, overthrow the status quo.

© 2015 Elizabeth Stincelli

Liz Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the CEO of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations engage employees and improve organizational culture. Liz holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Liz by visiting her website, and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at


Author: lizstincelli

I am Liz Stincelli and I am passionate about recognizing, inspiring, and igniting the leader in each of us. I am the Founder of Stincelli Advisors where I specialize in helping management teams learn new ways of looking at problems and finding new approaches to discovering solutions. I hold a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership. I offer 20+ years of pro-active operations management, problem-solving, team-building, human resources, accounting, and business administration experience in a variety of industries. I serve on the Editorial Review Board for the Independent Journal of Management and Production and the Journal of Managerial Psychology. I have also been a guest lecturer at the Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business Westminster College. You can learn more about me by reading my blog here at: or Connect with me on Twitter @infinitestin, on Google+, and on LinkedIn. You can contact me by email at

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