You Do It, Too – Part One – Self-Improvement and Perspective

This series may upset you. Don’t read it unless you want to be challenged to be better, and to embrace self-improvement in both your personal and professional worlds.

Part of you is not going to like this one bit.

In the United States, there is probably more complaining about politicians than ever before. On one level, there’s understandable upset. On another level, many complainers would benefit from looking in the mirror. I’ll explain.

What are the perennial complaints about politicians?

  • They lie and don’t keep promises.
  • They make excuses and avoid responsibility.
  • They only care about getting/keeping the job and maintaining the status quo.

Do any of the above describe you? Ever? Even a little bit? (Even something as simple as being late, by the way, is breaking an agreement.)

Over the last fifteen years, I’ve talked with thousands of leaders and managers. I’ve never met one that the above didn’t apply to.

I know what you’re thinking.

“Yeah but politicians tell huge lies, break important promises, avoid critical responsibility, and allow awful, widespreadconditions to stagnate.”

Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s only a matter of scale.

Politicians—for the most part—are people just like you, who happen to have a lot more power and influence. Their character flaws, foibles, and incompetence are no different. Their urge towards self-improvement may be even similar to yours. They just have a greater impact because of their office.

This is one of the tragically unappreciated things about leadership and power. Power amplifies faults. Like an imperfection in an uninflated balloon, when you breathe power into the system, it magnifies.

The same thing happens with money, which is why so many lottery winners end up with less than they started with. This defies logic, unless you understand what’s going on. If you put more volume through a leaky system, you cause a flood. With money and power, more energy moves through a flawed value system and creates bigger and more frequent messes.

If you’ve never been in a leadership position, you have no idea what kind of ick you’ll find in yourself when the power lights up your shadow issues like a Christmas tree. And if you are in a leadership position and you’re not actively working on such issues through self-improvement, then you’re likely living in denial and causing unnecessary suffering in yourself and others.

Perspective changes everything, doesn’t it?

Next week, we’ll explore this further and I’ll explain why those bad habits you have rub off on your people. Until then.

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