Deadly Habits

Deadly Habits

The Idea:  So you think you are knocking it out of the park.  Chances are you may not be delivering on the promise. Even the highest achievers are vulnerable to a few bad habits and self-delusion.  What’s the secret to providing a world class customer experience? According to research by Bain & Company and reported by John DiJulius, eighty percent of companies believe their customer service experience is “superior” while only eight percent of the customers believe it to be so.  That is a remarkable gap.

Development Dimension International conducted some stunning research and uncovered that seventy-two percent of managers indicate they have never questioned their leadership effectiveness and only fifteen percent believe they have a leadership deficiency.  We don’t see ourselves accurately and we also let bad habits take root in our lives.

These are the top three dangerous, limiting, and occasionally lethal habits that consistently pop up as I assess organizations in my own practice.  Ask yourself if you are guilty of letting these weeds take root in your own life.


Habit 1:  Too Much Hiding

Problems and failure are a part of life.  So why is it that most people still struggle admitting their failures?  We have a natural defense mechanism that wants to cover up or hide our problems and failures.  We are adept at applying makeup to cover up blemishes, thinking it makes us look stronger and more credible.  Research shows just the opposite.  People who can’t own the truth of a failure lose credibility.  It’s a paradox: leaders who embrace their weaknesses are strong. Never allow others to frame negative news about you, own it and model this behavior for others.

Habit 2:  Overcompensation

We all know people that feel the need to be the smartest person in the room.  They talk too much, go on too long, and have a need to be in control.  They are overcompensating for an internal weakness.   According to Roger Jones in his article, “What CEOs Are Afraid Of,” most people fear looking incompetent, underachieving, or intrusive. Jones states, “this causes them to be mistrustful, overcautious…  which limits their ability to speak up or have honest conversations.”  People who overcompensate for their own insecurities alienate themselves from the truth and distance themselves from others on their team.  Learn to embrace uncertainty and embrace your flaws; quit trying to be perfect!

Habit 3:  Too Tight

According to a recent Gallup poll, seventy percent of employees are actively disengaged or not engaged at all.  And it has little to do with money.  According to the Wall Street Journal Survey, “of the fifty percent of people who accept counter offers, ninety-three percent eventually left the company within eighteen months.”  What’s the point?  Most people leave companies because of their lack of relationship or micromanagement by their boss. They feel like they are being squeezed.

Leaders who control too much and don’t embrace delegation are struggling from internal fears.  The most influential people are willing to delegate control and responsibilities while driving results.  We must all learn to conquer our own internal fears of failure.

Do any of these three limiting habits get the best of you?  Are you courageous enough to own it?

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