Highly successful entrepreneurs have a strong tendency to be highly critical of themselves, very often more so than they are of others. Why? The strive; almost obsession of getting it right becomes a major driving force of the entrepreneurs mindset. Whether it’s giving great customer service, launching a new service or product, winning an order or raising that much needed finance, delivering positively is the only outcome. Failure to do so usually results in firstly, the onset of tourette’s and secondly, a period of self-flagellation and personal mental torture. Running and rerunning the series of events over and over again in our minds, dissecting every action with fine detail is a common trait of winners.
This is a healthy way of dealing with failure, it means that we care about getting it wrong, its got to be right, coming second does not pay the wages. Beating ourselves up in a controlled way is vital, however, when we fail – get over it, refocus and learn from what went wrong. The old cliché of fail fast and move on is extremely accurate, but one thing I would add is, fail fast and do it without emptying the till.
Controlled paranoia is an important leadership behavior. The moment you think you know it all, then you give rise to the seeds of complacency – what a danger zone you have entered into now! The resultant effect of complacent leadership is: reduced revenue, erosion of profits, poor customer service and retention, loss of new contracts, disconnection from the market, arrogance…the list goes on. One thing is for sure, complacency and loss of competitive advantage go hand in hand.
Go on, do your colleagues and customers a favour – beat yourself up!