As An Entrepreneur, Being Self-Aware Can Only Ever Do You Good

Take a good honest look at yourself, and critically examine how people you interact with on a regular basis respond to your actions.

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How do you react to bad behavior from people around you? I personally prefer to stay away or simply ignore those who choose to act in a horrible manner, but then again, in my line of work, I can’t seem to avoid seeing or hearing about them on a day-to-day basis. As such, one of the things I’ve begun to notice about these types of people is how they all seem to have taken on an air of arrogant smugness in the way they conduct themselves. They look to be either blithely unaware (and/or) are completely callous about their own failings. It is both strange and tragic that they don’t appear to be able to see past their own inflated sense of self. I’m particularly perplexed by entrepreneurs who have this kind of an attitude, as it runs contrary to pretty much all of the principles that govern real success stories in the business world. Simultanously, I can’t help but wonder how they get away with acting like this- shouldn’t there be someone around them who should be keeping them in check?

Well, there should be- but, as far as I can tell, there rarely is someone like that in the proximity of those who are behaving badly. Maybe it’s because the ones with the unsavory personalities are the bosses, and therefore, nobody dares to call them out for it. Or perhaps it’s because they are the top performers in the enterprise, and so their poor behaviors are given by a free pass by those above them in the hierarchy. Others just buy into the reality distortion field perpetrated by these individuals, and thus are dismissive of anything that challenges that very specific notion. Regardless of the reason though, it seems pretty apparent that the people who fail to act on curbing this kind of toxic behavior in those near them are essentially enabling it as well. Doing this in the context of a startup results in the creation of a rather unpleasant work culture. And this, when allowed to fester, almost certainly leads to unfavorable outcomes for the organization at large.

So, in the work environment, besides not condoning bad behavior in those around you, what can you do to make sure you are not behaving badly? I feel like this should start with a good honest look at yourself, and critically examining how people you interact with on a regular basis respond to your actions. Do you have someone in your team who feels confident and empowered enough to call you out should you do something wrong? How do you respond to criticism or complaints- do you dismiss them blindly or do you at least give them a (real) listen? When you feel like you’re on morally shaky ground, is there someone like an accountability buddy around you who can provide you with perspective and direction? Take the time to find out the answer to questions like these for yourself. Being self-aware can only ever do you good.

Related: Mr. Nice Guy Gets The Job Done

Aby Sam Thomas

Written By

Entrepreneur Staff

Aby Sam Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur Middle East. In this role, Aby is responsible for leading the publication on its editorial front, while also working to build the brand and grow its presence across the MENA region through the development and execution of events and other programming, as well as through representation in conferences, media, etc.

Aby has been working in journalism since 2011, prior to which he was an analyst programmer with Accenture, where he worked with J. P. Morgan Chase's investment banking arm at offices in Mumbai, London, and New York. He holds a Master's Degree in Journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York.