Is the surest way to failure not wanting to upset anyone?
Accepting mediocre performance and compromising excellence so as not to upset anyone will guarantee failure at a high level.
People who succeed in any profession have drive, ambition and a quest to do things well. These people are often labelled ‘difficult’ to work with because they will not accept average. This does not mean they don’t make mistakes or that they will not listen to reason.
Their minds are agile, their spirit adventurous and their tolerance for mediocre low. Not everyone is like this and that's ok.
However, do not work for or with a driven individual if you are sensitive to being called out when your work is less than excellent or when you are questioned extensively about decisions or projects.
Their pursuit of quality is a powerful force which is a key to their success. I’m not saying there are no driven individuals who are rude, nasty, intolerant and tyrants. Your “gut instinct” knows whether the person you are working with has good intentions and is a decent human being.
A tell-tale sign is how reflective the single-minded individual is, how well they listen and how generous they are when the work is good. Accept that their strive for excellence. Accept that sometimes it can spill into some blunt, firm language. If you reflect and they are right, be happy with their gift of upgrading your performance rather than being sensitive about the delivery.
The danger for a determined individual is to allow themselves to be led or influenced by those who either through experience or inexperience or possibly ulterior motives. Someone in a position of power or a supposed expert can blunt initiative by counselling restraint, caution and not upsetting others.
If you are a go-getter with lofty ambitions, choose very carefully who you listen to because the reality is you have to be brave and make mistakes to get anywhere. As long as you learn from missteps you are still going forward. If those helping you on the journey cannot handle the blunt honesty that is sometimes needed, then the problem lies with them.
In life there are those who tell us what we want to hear and advise against the "nasty bearers of truth" who don't have our backs like they do! Remember to receive blunt advice and evaluate it carefully because we all need to be challenged. Surrounding yourself with ‘yes’ is a terrible place to be and a sign that you need to change things.
In the "Play to gain" chapter of my book Locker Room Power https://amzn.to/2wvXGeo I explain how often it is the people closest to us that pull us back through their own fears or ignorance of operating at a high level.
Be respectful but never confuse a drive for quality as meaning you are not a good person. The worst quote in my opinion is “nice guys finish last.”
Written by David Sammel
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