Let's face it, most leaders and business owners have a high drive to get things done. While this can be the secret to their success, it can also be their biggest stumbling block.
One leader I recently worked with recounted a story familiar to many of us. "If you want it done right, do it yourself," her mother had told her. And so, being the oldest child in her family, she learned to take complete responsibility for everything and everyone, and to never say no. She learned to be 'perfect'. She always made mom and dad proud, doing what she 'should' and being a 'good girl'.
The pattern of hyper-responsibility served her well as a child and she thrived. As an adult, on the other hand, it became the pattern that most undermined her success.
As a leader in a school system, she was a go getter. She took on everything for everyone, striving to make the teachers happy, make the parents happy, and make the students happy.
In the process, she completely stressed herself out. Her failure to delegate left her feeling overwhelmed and her staff feeling underutilized. She was at the end of her rope.
During our work together, she learned that her incessant productivity wasn't a choice, it was an ingrained pattern. A pattern that came at the expense of her relationships with the staff, and with herself.
Watching her learn to say 'no' and take less on, to delegate more, and to create a work/life balance was the key for her to create a world-class school. By cutting through her belief and behavior patterns she has uncovered a new level of potential.
Are the ingrained patterns in your personality driving you in ways that undermine your success? Are you productive to a fault?