While coaching High Potential Executives, I find one common "leadership de-railer" Its the want to be a perfectionist
A Perfectionist is someone who fails to recognize when something is “good enough” and is obsessive or uncompromising about a situation or outcome.
My coaching conversations with such individuals find their way into talking aboutSelf Worth.
Self-worth may be seen as a continuum from very high to very low. For Carl Rogers (1959) a person who has high self-worth, has confidence and positive feelings about him or her self, faces challenges in life, accepts failure and unhappiness at times, and is open with people. A person with low self-worth may avoid challenges in life, not accept that life can be painful and unhappy at times, and will be defensive and guarded with other people.
Rogers also believed feelings of self-worth developed in early childhood and were formed from the interaction of the child with the mother and father. As a child grows older, interactions with significant others will affect feelings of self-worth.
The ultimate test of self worth is how one handles rejection. The underlying root cause of striving to be perfect is to avoid rejection at any cost. One can deal with rejection, when one has built up ones self worth to a degree where rejection is a part of life and something to learn from
The question one has to ask oneself is what do I need to do to feel a sense of high self worth?
For some people this could be talking to someone who is an unconditional supporter, or immersing oneself in a hobby one loves - painting or composing a piece of music. Find what works for you. Ensure you have set aside time to do that everyday.
Second, learn to silence the "inner critic". You can stop and focus on something else. Do this over and over again , until you realise you have the choice of "not feeling a sense on rejection"
"I realise that my life was a game of Snakes and Ladders* last year. For every step forward I took ten steps backward, because of various crises- personal, financial, family related. I feel apprehensive about starting my new business and have started to question myself on the decision" said a senior leader as we wrapped up coaching sessions for the year.
It took me a while to react to, reflect on and understand what he was saying. It was indeed a powerful statement and we have all similarly struggled in our lives.
Here were some of my coaching tips:
Ambidexterity while navigating through Life is critical
Life is not a one-way street. You face both good and bad times. Bill Gates once said "Life is unfair, get used to it".
Being dexterous about handling the duality of success and failure, happiness and unhappiness, health and sickness is the key. There is great learning from our bad times, as well as our good times and we need to build the confidence to embrace and handle it.
Focus on the goal
It's all about the goal and what it means to get there. The journey is never an easy path, treat setbacks as rugged terrain. Ideally, chunk down your goals to small achievable daily objectives. If you are driving a car on a dark rainy night, even though you know your ultimate destination, its navigating the next 100 metres that matters to get to there. Focus on that, and you will achieve your final goal eventually.
Never give in
Remember the story of King Bruce and The Spider ? Look for reasons to boost your spirit. Seek to meet people who have striven and achieved, have conversations with them. Search the internet for inspirational talks to listen to, videos to watch and books to read. Keep yourself motivated. Try and try again, life is to be lived like that, give it another chance. It always turns.
Happy 2015. hope this is wonderful year for you!
*Snakes and Ladders is an ancient Indian board game regarded today as a worldwide classic. It is played between two or more players on a gameboard having numbered, gridded squares. A number of "ladders" and "snakes" are pictured on the board, each connecting two specific board squares. The object of the game is to navigate one's game piece, according to die rolls, from the start (bottom square) to the finish (top square), helped or hindered by ladders and snakes respectively. The historic version had root in morality lessons, where a player's progression up the board represented a life journey complicated by virtues (ladders) and vices (snakes). Wikipedia
Kalpana Sinha a champion of tangible, measurable sustainable business transformation through building and delivering a strong people and organisation capability. She is the CEO and Co Founder of Cosmode Consultants
Kalpana Sinha is a Leadership and Organisation Professional. Her blog has reflections from her work experiences of over 20 years.