Attitude: Are You Too Good To Get Better?

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to continuously improve your performance. Reading Time: 2:54.

       Just a few weeks ago you were the top sales person on your team. Just a few weeks ago you were the most prolific accountant in the department. Just a few weeks ago, you were at the top of your game. And now you are failing: losing sales, missing project deadlines and making too many mistakes. You are losing it. You are way out on a limb.

Squirrel Monkey does his high wire act with Expertise. Or is that expert tease? (Image Credit: D. Mears , Stock.xchng )

     Your world  is suddenly and surprisingly spinning out of your control.  What worked yesterday fails today.

You’re stunned.
You’re frustrated.
You’re embarrassed.

     “How could this have happened to me? I am good at what I do. Just look at my record. I am Good! Good! Good!”

     Maybe too good.

     I have found that when you get too good at something, you stop trying to get better at it. Or worse: you start bypassing the basics, the key points in your sales presentation that earned those stellar results in the past.

     Been there. Done that.

    You think you’re so good at what you do, that you don’t have to go methodically from A to B to C.  You’re quick to jump from A to B then even quicker to jump to P then to  Z.

   That “I-know-it-all strength then ironically turns into my weakness. Then my expertise –helpful, understanding and compassionate — can become my expert tease –self-serving, selective and narrow-minded. All show and no dough. All hat and no spurs.

Leaders Are Not Smitten With What They Already Knew

    How do you guard against enantiodromia – a Greek word that means “the ability of anything followed UNTHINKINGLY to turn into its exact opposite.” How do you guard against your strength becoming your weakness? Continuous learning.

   The most effective leaders I know are always curious. They see today as a new opportunity to learn something new. Not an opportunity to flex what they already knew.

Leaders Are Bitten By A Need To Know

Leaders strive for continuous improvement more than simply solving the puzzle. (Image Credit: Sarah Williams, Stock.xchng )

             They’re bitten by a need to know. Not smitten with what they already knew. The most effective leaders are quick to challenge their own thinking, beliefs and values. They look for the chinks in their own armor before they go to battle in the marketplace. The most effective leaders challenge their own behavior. They don’t defend it.

          Letting down their defenses, leaders who are good at getting things DONE also know they may also be SO GOOD that they become impatient and poor listeners at times. Their expertise becomes their expert tease.

          Letting down their defenses, leaders who are good at ORGANIZING and accuracy also know they may be SO GOOD they become too cautious at times. Their expertise becomes their expert tease.

         Letting down their defenses, leaders who are good at ANALYZING also know they may be so good they can be procrastinating at times. Their expertise becomes their expert tease.

         And in letting down their defenses, I have found that leaders become more aware of the changing marketplace, more aware of their needs to change. They become more diligent in honing their expertise. And they become even more vigilant in preempting their own expert tease.

Today’s ImproveMINT
Keep looking for chinks in your own armor to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.

SUBSCRIBE: Have a Leadership Mint delivered to your E-mail every business day. It’s free. Just click the SIGN ME UP box in the upper left column.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.