Mistakes Hold You Back
No one like to make mistakes. Especially professionals. In fact, a hallmark of professionalism is excellence. You take pride in your work and your desire is to be seen as highly competent. While pursuing excellence, you are also aware when you make mistakes—again. Some of them are the mistakes that hold you back. Over the years, I’ve noticed three mistakes that you should be aware of and avoid at all costs.
One is when you aren’t learning. You make the same mistakes as before, causing frustration for those who review your work. Learning is a personal endeavor that requires your attention. You demonstrate a lack of professionalism when you make the same mistakes again. Others wonder, are you not paying attention? Are you not getting it? Do you not care?
Another is when managers mismanage the work. For instance, clients can be uncooperative by not responding to requests or submitting information that is incomplete or incorrect. Since your excellence is dependent on their cooperation, it is frustrating. Rather than having direct conversations with them and helping them to get you what you need, you quietly accept their unresponsiveness. As a manager of the work, your “mistake ” is tolerating recalcitrant behavior and causing undue stress on you and your staff.
Finally, partners repeat the mistake of refusing to make the hard decisions about clients who no longer fit the firm’s profile. At one time, those clients may have been good and profitable. Now they are capacity suckers that yank precious time from your staff who don’t want to work on them. Your “mistake” is that you hold on to those clients and none of your reasons can cover for the frustration you create for your team.
As you get into the new year and season, learn your craft, have difficult conversations and make the tough decisions. Commit yourself to break free from repeating your mistakes, especially the ones that hold you back.
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