5 Flaws that Sabotage Success

ImageLots of people I talk to these days are looking to start new business ventures or find more fulfilling jobs. As a real estate agent, I definitely understand the desire for independence and to do something you love. It can be hard to pursue success in a new venture, though. I’ve often wondered what stands in the way of our desire and our ability to achieve the success. Well, recently I found a little insight into this question.

In Jack Zenger and Joe Folkman’s book, “The Extraordinary Leader: Turning good managers into great leaders,” researchers identified five “fatal flaws” which were effectively “success killers.” In contrast to areas where professionals had “allowable weaknesses” (i.e. deficiencies in skills which could be avoided or overshadowed by other strengths), these five weaknesses were considered absolutely toxic to a successful career.

The flaws included:

1. Lack of initiative

2. Lack of accountability

3. Lack of openness to new or different ideas

4. Lack of core interpersonal skills or competencies

5. Inability to learn from mistakes

It’s interesting to note that these five flaws are generally organized around inactivity as a result of FEAR. For example:

1. Lack of initiative = fear of making a wrong decision (fear of mistakes)
2. Lack of accountability = fear we’ll have to face our own laziness or inactivity
3. Lack of openness to new ideas = fear we won’t be able to adapt, or we’re being “left behind”
4. Lack of core interpersonal skills = fear of social interaction, fear of low self-esteem
5. Inability to learn from mistakes = fear of change

To overcome these fears, we have to transform them into hope. Understanding that growth comes from adversity, it helps to frame our fears as undernourished hope for change and prosperity. “Maybe I’ll get it wrong,” needs to become “What happens if I get it right?

If you’ve found yourself hesitating out of fear, perhaps this will shed a little light on your own resistance!

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