There are many reasons why careers that seem functional ultimately fall of the tracks. Some of the obvious reasons include volatility, an inability to control one’s emotions, or even talking too much and not listening enough. These common challenges are easy to spot. However, there are other behaviors that are much more subtle but can be just as harmful to your career. In fact, even a nice leader with relatively well-functioning capabilities and a level-headed demeanor might see their career derail for different reasons. So, here are two behaviors to look out for that can send your career off the deep end without you realizing it.
One of the prominent leadership coaches out there, Marshall Goldsmith, labeled this behavior as “the disease to please.” This concept is interesting as it relates to being too concerned with acceptance and others liking you. By trying too hard to please others, we come across as inexperienced or not having our own conviction about things that matter. If you are a leader who is too eager to please, members of your team might begin to question the credibility of your leadership and your ability to advocate for things in the event something goes awry.
Now, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t focus on being accepted and liked because it is important to find common ground with the people you work with. You also don’t want to become the defiant leader who does not attempt to be anyone’s friend. You must find that balance where you can show people that you value the relationship, but you can also display your conviction when the time is right even if it might not please someone at the given moment.
A lack of confidence can sometimes coincide with the desire to please and revolves around being concerned with making mistakes. At times the reason for this fear could be not wanting others to question your capabilities and competence in the leadership role. However, you will find that those you work with want you to make difficult decisions and take risks, even it means making a few mistakes. It is when you don’t take that initiative that they question your leadership. Once again, it is all about finding balance. You do not want to come off as an overconfident leader who seems to always have the answer and makes decisions they shouldn’t be making.