What Keeps You Locked in Place By Marshall Goldsmith Sometimes...
I asked him, “Why can’t doing a great job of providing positive recognition be you? It’s not immoral, illegal, or unethical is it?”
“No,” he conceded.
“Will it make people feel better?”
“Will they perform better as a result of this well-deserved positive recognition?
“So please explain to me – why aren’t you doing it?”
He laughed and replied, “Because it wouldn’t be ME!”
That was the moment when change became possible – when he realized that his stern allegiance to himself was pointless vanity. He realized that he was not only hurting his employees’ and company’s chances for success – he was hurting his own chance for success!
He realized that he could shed his “excessive need to be me” and not be a phony. He could stop thinking about himself and start behaving in a way that benefited others.
Sure enough, when he let go of his devotion to a pointless definition of “me,” all his other rationalizations fell by the wayside. He realized that his direct reports were talented, hard-working people who did indeed deserve his praise. He finally understood that giving recognition when deserved didn’t damage his reputation as a leader who had high expectations.
The payoff was enormous. Within a year his scores on giving recognition were in line with his other positive scores on leadership – all because he had lost his excessive “need to be me.”
The irony was not lost on him. He accepted the fact that the more he focused on his employees, the more they worked to benefit the company – and that benefited him.
It’s an interesting equation: less me + more them = more success as a leader.
Keep this in mind the next time you find yourself resisting change because you are clinging to a false – and/or probably pointless – notion of “me.”