Will Your Fatal Flaw Kill Your Success?
No one’s perfect. Sure, we all accept that. We also spend endless time avowing the traits and skills you need for success. We spin the need for commitment, dedication, communication, self-confidence, pursuit of knowledge, experience and many other worthy traits as the paths to greatness. What we talk about far less often is the dark side. That’s right, we all have one. For some it’s a meager shadow, for some it’s a dungeon of inevitable doom, a killer of success.
It’s that epic fatal flaw that always gets our over-matched underachiever. So the question is, will your fatal flaw be your professional undoing? Leave you in a life of mediocrity and hoped cost of living increases? Grabbing the brass ring only to discover you just pulled the emergency break? Maybe you should spend as much time keeping your flaws from spoiling your broth as you do trying to add skills to sweeten the pie!
Of flaws there are many. For our literary heroes it most often seemed to be hubris, excessive pride or arrogance–ever see that derail a career? We all know that the difference between arrogant and cocky (sic confident) is your bottom line. True enough that good numbers protect bad characteristics plenty of times. Still, it’s worth going back a little Babylonian to the really deadly sins and see if those are career killers as well as a Pearly Gates dis-invite. Recognize any? You don’t need a priest or an exorcist but a little self-honesty and effort to recognize your flaws can be dealt with every bit as much as your gaps can be filled.
Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, Pride
That’s not a new law firm, those are the seven deadly sins that prophecy doom and damnation back in the day. Let’s think of them in terms of career-killer-traits to avoid:
- LUST. Can we leave this at #METOO? If you don’t get it by now, you won’t.
- GLUTTONY. It’s tricky to eat your way out of a job, drinking your way…now that’s easier. It is also the state of mind of satisfying the immediate, the temporary and an inability to appreciate quality without excessive quantity. It thinks only of self and you don’t usually get to make the call about promoting or hiring yourself.
- GREED. It was good for Gordon Gecko, for a while…but you know how that tale ends.
- SLOTH. I’d say more but I’m too lazy to explain that if you’re too lazy to recognize the relationship between your laziness and success your ladders won’t be vertical–and you use the Internet to escape rather than to excel.
- WRATH. A fierce anger that won’t subside becomes subtly infecting of your soul. How many mistakes can you accredit to your anger in life? It’s a great trait for creating super-villains and comes naturally sometimes but holding, living it, makes for tough company.
- ENVY. To be obsessed with wanting what others have means we are in a place where we know neither satisfaction nor patience. The bad professional decisions made of the jealousy of envy could fill all the libraries. It’s hard to be successful if you don’t know how to be happy with who you are and what you have and know you are still free for ambition without pitting your situation against the mirror of others with you wanting.
- PRIDE. We should be proud of our ideas, our efforts and our contributions. Knowing how to use that for self promotion is natural and smart. Once we lose our perspective on what it is about us that brought us to pride we may well be starting down the hubris trail. Truth is, you probably aren’t as good as you like to think you are, are you okay with that?
While I certainly subscribe to enhancing, training, and reinforcing the strengths and positive traits of self to find success it is not a one way street. There are obstacles aplenty and our own worse instincts often limit our execution toward success. Maybe in the self development world we can set Pollyanna aside for a second and remember to work on the guy with the pitch fork sitting on the other shoulder.
Just as success traits can be learned and practiced, so can our flaws be recognized and mitigated if we are conscious of them and recognize that strategy needs to work on both our better and poorer nature. Sometimes success comes from not being so bad!
©2019 MyEureka Solutions LLC. For more BUSINESS THERAPY insights follow Tom @TomFoxTrainer, on LinkedIn or at www.myeurekasolutions.com/thoughts. His recent book: “Business Therapy: Ideas and Inspirations To Help Build Sales, Leadership, Management, and Personal Performance” is available on Amazon