You’ve worked hard, made sacrifices, and dedicated yourself to your profession. You are now enjoying your achievement, feeling confident and, yes, a little smug. Don’t become too at ease. Marshall Goldsmith, a leadership specialist, is here to remind you that the qualities that propelled you to success may also be your undoing. Your behavioural idiosyncrasies and flaws carry more weight and relevance now that you are a leader, and they can cause more harm than they could when you were a rising star. Fortunately, Goldsmith analyses the 20 most prevalent flaws and proposes a seven-step technique for correcting without undergoing a major personal makeover. Usually, a minor adjustment or simply ceasing the bad behaviour is sufficient. Goldsmith regarded as an insightful and perceptive executive mentor. His book’s clarity, humor, and down-to-earth tone demonstrate why.
When a Quirk Becomes a Problem
Why would people who are at the peak of their success and production require behaviour modification? Ironically, it’s because the very behaviour that made them so successful often causes them problems at the top. Unfortunately, many people are unaware of how their actions impact their supervisors, coworkers, employees, and clients. For example, one executive may be sincerely committed to encouraging his or her team, while others may perceive this as favouritism. An CEO who chooses to consider suggestions before making a decision is labelled “unresponsive.” When such behavioural quirks become behavioural emergencies, it is important to seek treatment. This straightforward procedure entails identifying the undesirable habit, exhibiting the damage it causes, and demonstrating that a minor adjustment can address the problem.
The “Paradox of Success”
Successful people have four important mindsets that have contributed to their success. These views, however, make it difficult for individuals to change. This is known as “the success paradox.” “I have succeeded,” “I can succeed,” “I will succeed,” and “I choose to succeed” are the four beliefs. People who view the past, present, and future through the lens of these ideas may believe they do not need to change or are too busy to change. They may be unable to recognise a motive for change.
“The Higher You Go, The Further You Fall”
The majority of self-improvement programmes focus the steps you must take to improve. However, there are occasions when not doing something is preferable to doing something. Avoiding a bad decision, breaking a bad habit, or not making a mistake can have a greater impact on the bottom line than closing a huge sale. Most successful people have amazing abilities; this is why they succeed. However, as people achieve success, their undesirable habits or behavioural flaws come to the fore. Indeed, the more successful a leader becomes, the more their troubles are related to their behaviour, and the more power a behavioural problem has to halt or contribute to their demise.
“Twenty Bad Workplace Habits”
Leaders frequently exhibit 20 particular harmful habits. Each of these has the potential to contribute to the creation of a harmful, unhappy, or combative workplace. Leaders, on the other hand, can readily correct these problems with a minor change in behaviour. Most leaders are only guilty of one or two of these flaws:
- “Winning Too Much” — The all-consuming urge to win, even when it doesn’t matter, is the most common behavioural problem among successful individuals. Many other poor workplace practises, such as bickering, tuning people out, stealing credit for someone else’s invention, or hiding facts, stem from this urge.
- “Adding too much value” – When someone approaches you with an idea and you immediately feel compelled to improve it, you are guilty of adding too much value. This error is typical among experienced, accomplished people who believe they are being told something they already know or who believe they know a better method.
- “Passing judgement” – It is acceptable to express an opinion in a business setting. However, asking for people’s opinions and then making a comment about it is not acceptable. Nobody enjoys being judged. When you receive a recommendation, remain neutral and simply say, “Thank you.”
- “Making derogatory remarks” — Many successful people believe they are straight shooters and take pride in their candour. Making negative or caustic remarks, on the other hand, is never useful. If you talk recklessly and without consideration, the recipient will be hurt and remember you, even if you apologies. Undermining someone is never instructive or humorous; it simply causes grief and embarrassment.
- “Beginning with’no,’ ‘but,’ or ‘although,'” – Regardless of your intentions, when you listen to an idea, suggestion, or comment and begin your response with “no,” “but,” or “however,” you are signalling that you know better.
- “Telling the world how intelligent [you] are” – Many leaders can’t stop bragging about how smart they are. When you use phrases like “I already knew that,” you belittle and alienate others, which is not a good thing. Before you speak, ask yourself, “Is there anything I could possibly say worth saying?” If the response is “no,” simply thank them.
- “Speaking when angry” – When you lose your temper at work, you also lose control. Some managers use anger as a tactic, but this strategy frequently backfires. If you become agitated, you will have a reputation for being volatile and imbalanced.
- “Negativity,” or “Let me explain why that won’t work” — Some people’s first reaction to any input is to state why it won’t work. Such negativity can be helpful, but it is criticism disguised as a “I know better” attitude. People will be hesitant to provide you with new ideas if your first reaction is invariably negative.
- “Withholding information” – In the office chess game, withholding information is a favourite, although deceitful, move. This power play, rather than giving you an advantage, just breeds distrust.
- “Failure to give due acknowledgment” — If you want to instil resentment in your coworkers, this is the failure to make. People must feel the emotional benefit of having their efforts, contributions, and successes recognised and appreciated.
The are next tens bad working habits to notice –
- “Taking credit for work that [you] do not deserve” – The only thing worse than not receiving credit is taking credit for someone else’s labour. To avoid this workplace crime, simply decide that the group’s success is more important than your own.
- “Excuses” – Excuses are unacceptable. They are classified as “blunt and subtle.” “Sorry I’m late; I got stuck in traffic,” is a straightforward explanation. A subtle excuse is when you blame an underlying flaw, such as “I’m terrible at returning phone calls.” Ask yourself why you have such flaws, and then take action to correct them.
- “Clinging to the Past” – This is an extension of the general inclination to assign blame, and it originates from attributing responsibility for mistakes to someone or some incident that occurred years ago. It demonstrates a lack of accountability.
- “Playing favourites” — Managers frequently claim that they want to be challenged, yet it is often the yes-men and -women who gain the boss’s favour. Favoritism is frequently the cause of an employee receiving the boss’s approval for reasons other than performance.
- “Refusing to express regret” – For many successful people, apologising is very unpleasant because they despise admitting they were wrong. When you do apologise, though, you allow others to let go of bad feelings from the past. It also establish new relationships in the future.
- “Not listening” – A typical issue is not listening. This impolite behaviour conveys a variety of negative messages, such as “I don’t care enough to pay attention” or “Stop wasting my important time.” Leaders are frequently guilty of this propensity because they believe they know what someone is about to say or are two steps ahead of the other person.
- “Failure to express gratitude” – Your first reaction to every idea should be, “Thank you.” Despite this, many successful people struggle to say these two easy words. Many people wait for the right time to express thanks or believe that doing so will make them appear weak. “Gratitude, on the other hand, is a skill that we can never show too often.”
- “Punishing the messenger” – This is a combination of various harmful behaviours. It is the fault of reacting angrily when someone tells you something you don’t want to hear. Even if it is really useful. “Thank you,” once again, is the best reaction.
- “Passing the buck” — Outstanding leaders accept responsibility not only for themselves, but also for others who work for them. Accepting blame is the inverse of taking credit for the accomplishments of others. It is also equally damaging.
- “An obsessive need to be’me'” – Making a fault into a virtue stems from the belief that the flaw is an essential component of your makeup. When you adopt this mindset to justify poor or destructive behaviour, you prevent yourself from making the decision to change.