Pride Comes Before a Fall
Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves. But deep down below the surface of the average conscience a still, small voice says to us, something is out of tune. Carl Jung
I lost a client this past week. It’s not the first client I’ve lost and I’m sure it won’t be the last, nor was it one that I absolutely loved and will miss terribly.
However, it’s not the fact I lost it that is keeping me up at night – it’s why I lost it.
I lost the client because I was too proud.
It took about two month but my pride cost me my client’s trust. Way back when, he asked me for help. I came with a great referral, I had the knowledge, I had the expertise…why not use me?
I didn’t make his request a priority.
I didn’t do what he expected me to do.
I didn’t do what I said I would do.
I failed to communicate with him along the way when it was obvious I was not going to meet his deadline.
Then, to make matters worse, I ignored him for a week, foolishly thinking I could do two months worth of work in a few evenings.
How many times do we hear our staff say they were unable to prioritize their work?
How many times have our staff made promises that were never kept?
How many times have our staff cried uncle but only in the final hour, or worse, after the deadline has passed?
How many times have our staff disengaged with us, made themselves scarce, or blatantly avoided us?
This experience made me think about leadership in a different way:
Are we modeling the right behavior to allow our staff to be more open and honest about what they can and cannot do?
If I am too proud to cry uncle, too proud to admit I can’t handle things, too proud to admit I’m in over my head, etc., what message am I sending to my staff?
Perhaps in 2013, instead of putting my pride first, I should focus more on doing work that makes me proud.