Friday, August 26, 2011

Man in the Mirror

A recent poll showed that men tend to think of themselves as more handsome and good-looking than they really are. Similar self-deceptions occur in the workplace. We believe we're better leaders than we are. We believe that "only if they..." would do something different, or finally get it, or just work harder, and finally listen to us, then the company would be doing great.

We assume that when the results are great, it's because of us. When the results are bad, it's because of them--either inside the company or outside (consumers, regulators, bankers, etc.)

As you start reviewing how well you did on this year's goals, and begin planning the planning session for next year's goals, repeat after me:  Change starts with me...Change starts with me...

If I want the organization to behave differently, I have to behave differently. If I change, they have to change in response to my actions. If I don't change, they don't have to change. If they don't change, we maintain our skewed, biased and prejudicial paradigm about their abilities. And it doesn't matter who we fire and hire because we're the same person and the new people are going to respond to your own behaviors similarly. (That's why people who get divorced once often get divorced again.)

So if you want different results, you've got to do something different. Remember Einstein's definition of insanity: "doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." I've written about some things to change and how to do it in two inexpensive books available on Barnes & Noble: Servant Leadership Practice and Guerrilla Change.

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