For the background of this list – see my original post from 2-10-12.
The #20 Rap Lyric That Shaped My Leadership Style goes all the way back to 1989 with Uncle L himself, LL Cool J, and his song Jealous off his Walking With The Panther LP (the most popular song on this CD was Going Back to Cali! which starts out with a sweet trumpet solo). This was back to LL’s days of wearing the Kangol bucket hats, but I digress. Here’s the quote:
“He’s only mediocre, jealousy can’t get with me.”
(The track is so old I couldn’t even find a YouTube clip -but here’s a taste on Last.fm)
Jealousy is one of those emotions that usually sneaks up on you before you even know you have it. From a leadership standpoint, jealousy can kill teamwork, productivity and completely tear apart your culture. It’s essential for great leaders to not allow jealousy to undermine everything they are working towards, and it starts with yourself. I’ve never been one to be jealous, it’s not usually in my nature. I celebrate others successes and I’m truly happy for my coworkers, friends and family when they have success.
For those who know me, I coach youth athletics – a lot – and I can’t tell you how often on a weekly basis I see parents, who are really good people, completely use their minds over jealousy. Someone’s kid has a great game or play, and parents will just unload on the kid, their parents, their ability, their work ethic, etc. Jealousy runs rampant in youth athletics. It’s rare to find a youth team nowadays that truly celebrates each others successes, because their parents are working against it the moment they get in the car, if not before!
I see this in work environments as well. How do you stop it? You have to address it when it happens and to whom is doing it – timely and specific (oh wait, doesn’t that sound like really good performance management advice!?). I find a quick cold splash of water in the face usually tells that person and the team, that behavior isn’t allowed in our house (I don’t actually throw cold water – it’s a metaphor for having a very direct conversation – but I might rethink the cold water if the conversation doesn’t work!). Jealousy has no room in our organizations – it will kill a good team faster than almost anything else. Unfortunately, sometimes we hire someone who is just prone to this emotion more than others, and it’s a very hard emotion to stop and control.
Jealousy can’t get with me – what about you?