Are you driven and competitive? Do people identify you as a “Type A” personality? Is the thrill of the chase, the focus on getting things done or proving you can do something other people tell you cannot do overwhelming? If, so welcome to the club, as I am just like you and left untreated we are time bombs in our career and in our lives.
It’s not that our behaviour traits are bad because delivered in good faith they promote innovation, productivity and so much more. The problem is that our “getting things done come hell or high water approach” send conflicting and sometimes the wrong message to those around us. Our passion can be our downfall. So what to do?
Early on in my career I was lucky enough to be identified as a high potential employee. But it was also noted that due to my high energy and get things done attitude, I could also rub some people the wrong way. They sent me to Looking Glass at the Center for Creative Leadership in North Carolina. This intense five-day course with other function leaders from across North America focuses on:
- gaining a more complete view of yourself, including strengths
- leverage leadership to impact organizational outcomes
- balance tactical concerns with strategic possibilities
- effectively communicate at all levels
- set specific goals for yourself
But the best part of this course was the opportunity to glimpse how other people perceived me. As they say “perception is reality” and in the world or work and life, how people perceive you limits your ability to get things done for the company or within your social circle, including with your spouse and children. No matter if your colleagues or your spouse’s view of you is right or wrong, what’s important to note is the perception is still their reality and directly impact the relationship. How you communicate and engage others to explain your behaviour or to modify your behavior is the key to increasing your success.
For those of you that are highly successful or who may have hit a career or life plateau, I encourage you to take a similar course or at least ask those around you (both colleagues and perceived foes) how they really perceive you so that you can be aware of how to become more effective in your life.
As an executive search consultant for a big part of my career I have found that one’s ability to properly self-assess themselves for strengths and weaknesses has been the key to their success in that role. So take a good “look” at yourself in the looking-glass mirror and see yourself as others see you. Good luck!