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Strengths that become weaknesses

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in Hiring,Human Resources

Financier Warren Buffett once offered the opinion that most people could succeed as well as he has … if they just didn’t get in their own way.

All leaders have wonderful coping behaviors that help them transcend the crisis du jour, and these same wonderful coping mechanisms mess them up in the long term.

Consider these 10 self-defeating tactics:
  1. Avoiding confrontation. Sometimes, the stronger you are, the more you dodge confrontation. You say it’s because you don’t want to upset people. It’s really because you’re afraid of losing control of yourself.

  2. Hiring advisers and not listening to them. You downplay how difficult it is to change your habits.

  3. Not accepting when you’re wrong. If you’re wrong about this, you might (gasp!) be wrong about other things.

  4. Not dealing with reality. Same thing. If you’re not dealing with one thing, there might be others that could gang up on you.

  5. Waiting too long to cut your losses. Investing heavily in a losing venture tempts you to sink even more money into it, hoping for a turnaround.

  6. Dwelling on strategies. They can be so lovely to behold that you hate executing them. If you never implement your strategies, you’ll never see their flaws.

  7. Relying on analysis over instinct. Logic is not the same as reality.

  8. Trusting instinct over analysis. If your gut feelings are nothing more than desires, you might even distort facts to justify them.

  9. Playing favorites. Rewarding sycophants may make your life easier today, but it will poison the culture.

  10. Mocking what you don’t understand. The less important you make something out to be, the less you deal with it. Never mind that in the long run, it may turn out to be the most important thing of all.
-- Adapted from “Don’t Mess Up,” Mark Goulston, The Leading Edge,

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