Monday, January 6, 2014

Seven habits, and why jerks always seem to get ahead

I came across two older articles from Forbes that seemed very closely related to each other:
The seven habits article is interesting as a do-not example. I think we've all worked for (or with) people who exhibited these traits. I used to work for a director who typified bad habits #3 (all the answers), #4 (my way or the highway), #6 (underestimate obstacles), and #7 (what worked before will work now) all at the same time. Not fun.

I view bad habit #2 (identify so completely with the company that there is no clear boundary between their personal interests and their corporation’s interests) as a work-life separation issue.

Yet according to the "jerks" article, people who have these habits seem to get ahead somehow. Why is that?

According to the article, overconfident people are perceived as having more social status, and social status is golden. But it's important as leaders to recognize when someone is being overconfident and try to coach them on that behavior. That coaching relationship may be easier if the overconfident person is in our own teams, but it gets more difficult if the person is a peer or up the ladder. That requires building relationships and coaching upwards.

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