Two Things that Block your Success as a Manager

28 juni 2018

I see smart, hardworking, talented people who stay stuck in their development as a manager. Why? Two simple things in your attitude can make the difference.


The first one is "Yes, but". 

"Yes, but" is not the same as "no". It's worse . "No" is clear, for you, for the other. "Yes, but" is the biggest energy drain in your life. "Yes, but" keeps you stuck between a real yes and a real no. "Yes, but" means that you're not moving on. "Yes, but" means that nothing gets solved. 

(*I don't mean the constructive, I agree, but let's put some nuance into it. I mean the "Yes, but" that tries to silence what the other has said)


Your attitude to "Yes, but" is a very good indicator of your future success, and of your current level of frustration.


When you say "Yes" or "No" to something, you move on, and you grow as a manager. It is as simple as that. Making the choice, taking ownership for it, acting upon it - it's not always easy, but it works.

Saying "Yes, but" to something, is a sure way to staying stuck. You're not really listening to what you could learn from this, you're arguing why you shouldn't. 

When you say "Yes, but" to something, usually you're busy proving that you are already perfect (news flash: no one is), that you know everything already (you probably don't. Even if you did - knowing is not the same as doing) and that others should change (remember Waiting for Godot?)



The "Yes, but-Manager" is fighting reality: he knows the solution is inside of him (clever people these "yes butters") but he prefers to argue with reality (not so clever). "I know that doing this would help, but shouldn't they...?"

Every time you "yes-but", you're giving away your power, you're making something or someone else more powerful than you are. You're giving away your innate potential for further growth.


Make a choice: yes or no. Don't stay stuck in no-man's land.




The second one is a lack of auto-introspection.

What the hell is auto-introspection?

It means that you're willing to look at yourself. Honestly. Critically. Yet lovingly. 

Some people soak up what they learn. They spend a lot of time reading, thinking, talking about it. They experiment with it. And still.... Nothing. Here it's not for a lack of effort. It's because they don't know themselves.  


Most of us don't know ourselves very well. We know the basics, but we never think much beyond. What makes your different? What is typical for you? Remember the last time you were in an interview and couldn't come up with more than one or two things about yourself? That's how good we know ourselves.


Always ask yourself: what (else) can I learn from this (about myself)?


Even if you're already good at something, it never hurts to become even better. And if that just happens to be an area in which you overestimate yourself, so much the better.


Start from this reality: you are not perfect. No one is. No one will ever be.


This allows you to stop proving yourself. This allows you to grow in all areas. This allows you to become honest with yourself.



If you stop "yes butting", and start thinking "what (else) can I learn from this (about myself)", you're clearing the path to life long learning, and life long growth. It puts you back in charge of you and your reality.


If you don't, you're always waiting for others to make your life better. Better ask Godot whether he still has a spot on "his" bench for you...

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