A Leading Perspective

Pragmatic insights for the leader in you

6

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?

 

HA!  

 

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.

 

Sound familiar?

 

  • 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.

 

CommunicationsEmpathyEmployee RelationsForgivenessHuman ResourcesLeadershipPride

Heather Kinzie • January 6, 2013


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Comments

  1. Chef Leo January 7, 2013 - 7:15 am Reply

    Amen! Right on Sister! Thanks for the reminder…

    • Heather Kinzie January 7, 2013 - 7:36 am Reply

      Wow, it got an Amen and a Right on Sister! 🙂 You are most welcome for the reminder…I wish I would have had mine about 2 1/2 months ago ! But I’m committed to not letting it happen again!

  2. Louis Christie January 7, 2013 - 3:27 pm Reply

    As consultants and leaders it is hard to remain humble and remember that we are serving our clients and their needs not our needs.

    • Heather Kinzie January 8, 2013 - 8:33 am Reply

      Agree, Lou! Hard indeed!

  3. Joel Peterson January 8, 2013 - 10:57 am Reply

    Not that you intended this but it’s refreshing and encouraging to hear that even well-intentioned, smart, professional people make mistakes and more importantly, are committed to learning and evolving. That leaves room for the rest of us to be human too. Thanks for sharing this, Heather!

    • Heather Kinzie January 10, 2013 - 5:19 pm Reply

      Joel, thanks for your kind words. Yes indeed, that was the lesson I learned…perhaps by ‘faking’ that I was above mistake/failure, I have not allowed my staff to be human. Epic failure as a leader…and I’m committed to being better than that!

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