Coaching gives me a unique window into the challenges of professionals. Clients can say anything to me……and they do.
I’ve heard stories of lost opportunities, squashed growth, stunted development, conflict and heartache. All of this caused by an insidious and destructive force:
Selfishness is the source of greed, arrogance, control and contempt. It’s devoid of generosity, humility, freedom and compassion.
We rarely speak openly of vices and virtues, but they matter. The vice of selfishness costs teams and organizations talent, productivity and revenue. We’ve all experienced it and seen it. Here’s a sampling from the coaching confessional:
Partners tired of inequity leaving, shrinking the business & the future.
Top quality staff fleeing after being worked to exhaustion.
Young professionals going to competitors after broken promises.
Good team-members demoralized when careless leaders placate slackers & divas.
Rising extraordinary talent squashed so the boss can look good.
Initially, selfish people get what they want (money, control, power, status, accolades, etc…). But in the long term they lose. When top people can’t stand the selfish patterns anymore, they leave taking their productivity and talent with them. I’ve seen this over and over, as have you.
Building the “anti-selfish” disciplines of humility, generosity and compassion in yourself and on your team is the secret to greatness. These are the source of all good energy, innovation, creativity, courage and achievement.
Speaking of humility, let me share quite honestly:
I have a long way to go!
Thank you to all who’ve put up with my lapses, I’m grateful for your generosity and compassion.
Resource of the Day:
For more on the power of these virtues in business, watch Brené Brown renowned research professor at the University of Houston and author of several books including: Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead (2012).
Brené Brown, 2010 TEDx talk, Houston TX : The Power of Vulnerability
Brené Brown, 2012 TED conference, Long Beach CA: Listening to Shame
PS. This week is Holy Week and Passover, a good week for reflecting on the transforming power of virtue.