If you are like so many dedicated, hard charging, “no excuses” rising stars from the boardroom to the athletic arena, you may be in for a surprise. Or should I say disappointment. The traditional Success Formula - “If you work hard (Effort) and work smart (Strategy), you will SUCCEED”- is a potential TRAP. It is often an existential dead end that shows up in midlife or beyond. “Existential drift” is a fancy way of describing the conflict and disappointment that arises when people who have played by the rules and offered their best effort on-the-job wake up one morning, surrounded by all of the spoils from career victories and yet wonder, “Is that all there is?”
To them, it does not make sense. They are living in a dream home, preparing to go to a job they struggled to achieve. There is proof of high achievement both on the wall of their well-appointed den and in their business office. Their job title and rank are evident as they park their luxury automobile and are greeted by admiring employees as they cross the parking lot on their way to the executive suite.
Mom may be partially responsible for the trap these executives are in. This dear lady promised: “Dedication and best effort will produce wealth and job opportunity.” Dad may have contributed to the disillusionment by embellishing on the E + S Myth: “Just keep your head down and remember, actions speak louder than words.”
Actually, if you were given this advice, your parents and teachers were correct. The problem is with the misunderstanding that SUCCESS ALSO PRODUCES HAPPINESS, SATISFACTION, AND A DEEP SENSE OF PURPOSE. It does not!
As you will find in this Wisdom Destination™, business professionals tell themselves “Necessary Lies” to cloak the Success Myth on their way up the career ladder. They begin with the self-defeating strategy that the first three-quarters of the game-of-life must be primarily dedicated to business. The last quarter is when you and yours can sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor… that is IF you live long enough and IF your significant others are still around to celebrate with you.
You will learn through the story of Karl, a highly successful salesperson, who would have been passed over for management opportunities if it were not for his willingness to explore his “Inner Self”… in his mind, an uncomfortable and frank waste of his time and company resources. His question, “What does this have to do with business” is a reasonable challenge to the process we discuss.
Join us as we explore the danger of defining employees by “WHAT THEY DO” without significant effort to understand, “WHO THEY ARE.” It is important to recognize what happens when team members operate in the dark - it creates a personal and interpersonal vacuum. Trust, which is vital to build rather than burn partnership bridges, is impossible to establish with no human context. You will repeatedly hear a very common and destructive TRAP: In the absence of information, people must make up stories in their minds.
Dr. Joseph R. Currier is a psychologist with fifty years of professional experience in a variety of roles. For over thirty-five years, he has been a management consultant involved in the selection, training and advisement of executives in the private and public sectors. Joe is an executive coach, team-building facilitator, workshop trainer, and special problems consultant for a wide variety of organizations such as Allegis Group, Baltimore Ravens NFL franchise, Mobil Oil, KPMG and many other dynamic groups.