The competitive challenges that entrepreneurs and business leaders face daily are tough enough without the compounding problems of self-sabotaging behaviors.
We all want to believe that our intentions and actions will positively work toward our ultimate goals for success.
But that's simply not the case. As Socrates advised centuries ago, know thyself.
We all have behavioral blind spots that, left unchecked, can limit or doom our personal and professional objectives. The three easiest examples to address happen to be the most obvious as well.
I used to work for an executive vice president who was an "idea guy" who hated the tedium of basic business functions. Examples of his procrastination habits manifested as routine delays in expense reports processing, ignored requests for contract approvals and repeatedly rescheduled performance reviews.
Even though he was an extremely bright guy who didn't want to get bogged down in minutiae, the company let him go because he became a bottleneck when it came to the procedural needs of the organization.
The same EVP mentioned above never saw his crippling procrastination as an organizational liability. In his opinion, which he shared with me on a few occasions, was that his perceived "procrastination" was actually "ruthless prioritization."
It's important to prioritize and delegate, but it's equally important to follow through on the work that you're responsible for and that needs to get done rather than engaging in semantic gymnastics.
The reality was that projects languished in unfinished limbo once they entered this EVP's queue, and his excuses didn't provide the cover he had desired.
During the final few months of this EVP's tenure with our company there was a noticeable shift in his demeanor and dialog during our team meetings. His tone became very caustic and accusatory of the very group that was committed to helping him succeed.
Ironically, he would accuse dedicated and loyal team members of "...dragging their feet on projects and delivering excuses rather than results..." - I kid you not.
The very traits he was exhibiting were the things he inappropriately projected onto his team. During one of the last meetings he had with our CEO, that I was invited to attend, I heard my boss inexplicably blame our entire team for his own inability to meet his objectives.
This guy wasn't fooling anyone. I honestly think that his blame-filled interaction with the CEO sealed his fate. Over the years since, I've tried to see where he landed out of morbid curiosity. But it's like he's completely fallen off the corporate grid.
A bit of self awareness, strategic delegation and integrity would have gone a long way to save this executive from himself. Unfortunately, it's always easier for us to identify these gaps in others than in ourselves.