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Terminal Value

Success in Spite of Yourself

Doug Utberg

Business Growth Authority | Technology Strategy & Resourcing | Cost Optimization Expert | Business Process Architect | Financial Strategist | Founder - Terminal Value Podcast

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Today, we’re going to talk about achieving success and your personality traits.

There is a tendency to view somebody who is successful as having figured it out, meaning everything they’re doing must be right.

Conversely, somebody who is not successful – Naturally we assume that everything they’re doing must be wrong.

Of course, when you say this out loud, it sounds like nonsense because it is.

The truth of the matter is anybody who attains any level of success is successful because of certain characteristics and in spite of other characteristics.

Here’s the thing – sometimes those characteristics will change.

For example, if you have somebody who is in a supervisory role and they are ascending to a management role –

Being meticulously detail oriented might be a cause of their success in a supervisory role because you are evaluated based on how well you have control of all the details.

However, if you move into more of a manager leadership role, then you will be evaluated based on how well you identify, recruit, and develop people in your organization.

In that case, the things that got you to where you are may actually inhibit you from going further.

One of the things that we have to do both in a career and in an entrepreneurship leadership sense is we need to understand the key characteristics of our personality, which ones are the true causes of our success and which ones are the ones that we are successful in spite of.

Here’s the hard part … You can’t answer this for yourself.

The only people who can answer this honestly are people who are around you.

So – The thought that I want to leave everybody with today is to start creating an inventory of your key personality characteristics and start asking some of the important questions:

Which of these are a cause of my current success?

Which of these have I got into my current state in spite of?

The next question is – What do I need to ascend to the next level?

If that is not what you currently have, then work on developing it.

This is one of the places where an executive coach or leadership coach can be truly valuable. Not necessarily because your coach is going to have it all figured out. They may or they may not, but a coach will be able to collect that objective feedback and then bring it to you without imparting personal bias.

If I tried to collect feedback about myself, no surprise, I’m going to look for positive feedback because I want feedback that affirms my self image. You see, just about everybody who has attained any level of success has had to create and maintain a positive self image. (Which is not necessarily a bad thing)

In order to maintain a positive self image you have to develop a mental resistance to negative feedback which is a very good way of preserving forward momentum in your business initiatives.

However, it also makes you blind to areas that you need to improve. This is why an external perspective is so important.

Net-Net: Find somebody either who is a coach that you employ or who is a very good friend that can give you objective honest feedback and start building that personality audit and characteristic inventory to really figure out where you need to go to a set of next level. 

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