"Being Wrong"
Your Success Thought for the Week of August 30, 2006

Congratulations to those of you brave enough to open this week’s Success Thought. Some of my readers would have instantly deleted anything that hinted at them being anything less than perfect, certainly ‘wrong.’

Take a moment to asses your initial reaction to this title. Were you intrigued, curious, or perhaps agitated? Your reaction speaks volumes about your leadership style.

Every great leader has a strong competitive streak that helps him stay ahead of his game. However, when this streak interferes with learning, it quickly brings him down. We learn from both what we do right and where we err. If you avoid this latter valuable tool of learning you’re in for a rough ride as a leader, partner, and friend.

Face it, sometimes you are purely off base; you’ve missed the cue. Yes, even dead wrong. It takes enormous courage to admit to being wrong and it is fear that makes someone hide behind always having to be right. So, what does your reaction say about you?

  • Denial—you are not in touch with the reality of the situation and of those whom you lead. If you are told there is a ‘situation’ a true leader takes it seriously, pulling in the necessary resources to get to the bottom of the problem.

  • Agitation—you have a strong ego that impedes your seeing the bigger picture. Take a breath, widen your view and ask questions. There is more to the story. Those all around, below, and above you have valuable insight. Listen intently and get help for that ego.

  • Blame—by now you know that this is not a leadership style, but rather the behavior of a victim to look at the problem rather than the solution. Look no farther than in the mirror to correct the situation.

  • Premature Apology—you lead with a reactionary impulse. This weakens your stance and how others view you. Wait until you have the appropriate data to fully understand the scenario. Sincerity, a comprehensive understanding of the problem and plan of action are keys here.

  • Caution/Intrigue/Curiosity—you lead with your mind, combined with your heart and wisdom gained through experience. You are eager to assess the damage, put all the pieces together (not the people, but rather the activities that could have taken place) and then to form a plan of action

In this latter scenario, you immediately take steps learn more in order to:

  1. not make the same mistake again, and,
  2. discover what you missed the first time around.

You can then build and incorporate a plan of action and move forward. Otherwise, you’re stuck in denial, the blame-game, apologizing for things you don’t understand.

Purposely ask someone to challenge you this week to assess your reaction. Have them say the words to you: “You’re wrong, dead wrong.” Notice if one of the above thought patterns occurs to you. Then, notice your visceral response:

  • Physical sensation (gut reaction, goose bumps, tightened chest)
  • Emotional surge (sad, angry, hurt)
  • Intuitive hit (I believe him, I doubt what she is saying, Yikes, I missed an important piece of the puzzle)

Have a wonderful week exploring ‘you!’

Enjoy your process!


Ann Golden Eglé, MCC
Executive Coach & President
Golden Visions Success Coaching, LLC

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Permission is granted to either reproduce copy or distribute "Your Success Thought for the Week for August 30, 2006" as long as this copyright notice and full information about contacting the author is attached. The author is Ann Golden Eglé, Golden Visions Success Coaching, LLC, 541.385.8887, 21775 Rickard Rd., Bend, Oregon 97701, www.GoldenVisionsSuccess.com

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