In his book, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, Marshall Goldsmith points out that the fundamental beliefs that drive our success can also make us resistant to change. We overestimate our contributions and sometimes take credit for things that others have accomplished while often ignoring our own shortcomings. These delusions are the result of success, not failure.
My client was mad. I could read the body language in the room, and it was not good. It was plain to see she’d been hurt deeply by some unspoken slight from one of her team members. The two of them were sitting there with their arms crossed, facing away from each other. The rest of the team was fidgeting or wriggling in their chairs and not looking at anyone.
It was obvious there was an elephant in the room that all seven of them knew about, but were refusing to acknowledge. Knowing that a healthy team is critical for our success, I called out the issue.
“But Jim, I completely disagree with the decision. How can you expect me to support John’s decision and commit to it when I think it’s wrong?”
“Tom”, I replied, “I’m not asking you to agree with John. I’m asking you to do the greater good – to be unified as a leadership team in all the decisions that are communicated to others. Especially the ones we don’t all agree on.”
I hadn’t quite won Tom over. Julia noticed, and jumped in.
It could be that one of the main reasons you are a successful business leader is that you really know how to talk. You’ve been rewarded in your career for being able to talk your way into (or out of) anything. You’ve been successful in convincing people, inspiring people, and getting your way because of your ability to talk. But, like most things in life, too much of a good thing can turn a strength into a weakness.
Millennials get a bad rap, but are they really that different from any other generation of people?
When I stopped to think about the common millennial characteristics we hear about so often, I realized how many of those same traits are also prevalent among entrepreneurs. How we outwardly demonstrate these traits may look different, but at the core our values are shared. I believe this is an opportunity for tremendous results if managed from a place of shared values and effective communication.