Are You Your Own Worst Enemy?

Are You Your Own Worst Enemy

I remember when I was first starting out in business, a consultant said to me, “The best thing about your company is you, and the worst thing about your company is you.” I didn’t really understand what this meant at the time but over time it certainly made sense to me.

Are you your own worst enemy? Do you know what your faults are and the potential impact that this could have on your business?

It sounds like a basic question but so much of the time staff complain about the weaknesses and inadequacies of their managers, bosses or owners. Often the perception is that the complaints are there because the managers, bosses and owners do not realise their own inadequacies. What would your staff or colleagues say about you?

On a piece of paper, create three columns and in column 1 make a list of all those things about you that irritate the people you work with. If you can’t think of any, and you’re not prone to hiding the truth from yourself, add the areas where you fail or don’t perform as well as other people.

Now is not the time to look after your ego or to allow pride preventing you from seeing these faults. Simply be honest, because, as you jot these down and make yourself fully aware of them, it could be something that saves your business, your relationships and your friendships.

Surely that’s got to be worth a few minutes? I’m serious. Please take the time out now to make your list.

Now think about the potential impact this could have on others. With your weaknesses in Column 1, in Column 2 write the worst case scenario consequences of these actions. Could you crush someone, could you upset a client, could you deliver a substandard service, could your lack of health and safety cause someone to die, could you cause your company to fail, could you end up in prison, or even could you have a heart attack due to the stress you’re under?

On a personal level, could the time spent on your work result in a breakdown of relationships or even the loss of your intimate relationships?

Finally in Column 3 I want you to write the actions you could take to mitigate these. It may be that you’re going to build a healthy diet in, you’re going to form or grow the expertise in the management of your board, you’re going to find someone to coach/mentor you, you’re going to leave work earlier, you’re even going to resign.

Whatever it is, spend some time to establish what steps you could take to prevent the worst case scenario from happening.

Everybody has weaknesses, everybody makes mistakes; some are very public, some are much more private. It’s easy though to be your own worst enemy, whether in a dramatic way, or simply in a way that prevents growth. Please be honest with yourself as you explore your thoughts and perhaps sit down with a friend whom you trust to talk through these risks.

Our weaknesses do not need to hold us back but they do need to be accounted for.