I’m coming up on my annual review. Something that my boss does that I like is to require me to put together all the things I did for the last year, beyond my normal job. The theory being, why should I pay you more, if you’re just doing the same job. Tell me what you do beyond the norm. Tell me why you’re more valuable to me this year, than you were last year. It’s not perfect, but I’ve yet to see an evaluation system that is! What it does do is drive conversation about what is valued in my organization. You are hired and paid well to do a job. That is expected. If you want more – show us why. Doing you normal job isn’t more – it’s what you were hired to do.
The problem with this is my self-insight measure, is off the chart. When I sit down to write this up – all I do is find things that are wrong with me! Which might be the entire reason for the exercise to begin with! Figure out that you suck, then I don’t have to pay you.
Here’s what I found out about myself this year:
- I love being right.
That was about it.
It’s not a good thing – it’s definitely an opportunity area. When you love to be ‘right’ you tend not to be the best listener. Being right means you have to keep showing people you’re right. Which means preparing what to say next instead of listening then crafting a response to what you heard. Being right means that someone is wrong. That, also, is not a good thing. We live in a world of gray. Most things in business aren’t right or wrong – there is usually an answer in the middle of the two – some will call it compromise, some will call it synergy – it’s a better third option. Something we both created.
Having a desire to be right is somewhat immature. It harkens back to the day of playgrounds and rows of desks. It’s when you wanted to show your parents how smart you were. You did that by being right – and sometimes being right got you a slap on the backside or early bed with no dinner. Most people learn at an early age, being right isn’t all that you thought it would be! Being right, can also be very negative.
So, over the next 12 months I vow to work on not being right. I want to embrace being wrong. It doesn’t feel comfortable, but I know it will make me better. It’s alright to be wrong (I’ll need to keep saying this to myself over and over!). Being wrong means I will be able to tell someone else they are ‘right’. That seems like a better leader to me.