DC Business Executives – Win at all Costs?

Following is an extract of a really good newsletter this month from one of DC’s leading Personal Executive Coaches and HR Strategy Consultants, James Bowles, of Northern Virginia.

“This newsletter is the third in a series of 5 dealing with bad habits. It is again based partly on the book by Marshall Goldsmith called “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There”. I would highly recommend this book as you reflect on improving yourself by eliminating your own bad habits.

I received a lot of positive feedback on last month’s newsletter about bad habits in the area of communication, and how saying too much in certain situations can have an unintentional negative impact. Since we have learned by now that many successful people convince themselves that their bad habits are strengths, these may be hard to recognize and also hard to let go of. In fact, these bad habits may be points of pride that we do not really want to change. However, they need to be corrected early, before they become problems that prevent career advancement.

This month, we will look at more bad habits in the category of the “winning at all costs”. Winning is a natural behavior, and is feels great. Very few people begin a game of chess hoping to relish in the feeling of defeat. In Corporate America, there is an even bigger premium on winning. Winning companies are rewarded by bigger budgets, higher stock price, retention plans, etc. Traditional performance management systems reward individual performance, so winning employees get promotions, more money, favorable treatment, etc. Winning is good.

The problem with winning is that it starts to creep into the wrong situations. We start to compete over things that don’t matter. We look at teammates or other company employees as competitors, even when we have a common goal. We start to do things to promote ourselves, or to keep others at a disadvantage. Intentional self promotion and undermining of others is not a bad habit in my opinion, but bad behavior. The bad habit is when we do this unintentionally with no knowledge that we even have a bad habit that needs fixing!

Here are some examples:”

(read more about this very important personal coaching goal and habit…)

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