Leaders: Beware the “Success Deception”

I used to be a band director. In my first of three jobs, things didn’t start out very well, but after about three years, I “figured it out,” developed a system, and things worked for that group of 26.

Then, I moved to a new school, and tried the same system for a group of 118. Again, things didn’t go very well at first, but after three years, I “figured it out,” developed a new system, and things worked for that group.

Then, I moved to a new place, tried the same system…

You know where this leads, right?

When a leader experiences success, two deceptions occur:

1) This system works! Therefore, it will work everywhere. I’ve got it all figured out!

2) My approach to people works! Everyone should act like I do, then they will also be successful!

Both deceptions are dangerous.

The first deception can be counteracted by always learning, and seeking counsel from smart observers. The second deception can be counteracted by taking the personal preferences of others into consideration – DiSC works well for that.

Some of the best teachers I know are people who struggled through school. Some of the weakest teachers I know, conversely, experienced a lot of success. Adversity strengthens us, and success can fool us.

“Pride goeth before a fall,” right? Enjoy success, but beware of its deceptions.

 

DSC_0768_2Thanks for reading,

Alan Feirer

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