Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Ego is the enemy of great work

Today coincidentally I listened to two strong podcasts that highlight the enemy of great work. Not fear, but EGO.

In the first talk Andy Molinsky talks persuasively about how to move forward in your career when everything is overwhelming and/or you're an introvert. Example: you have a small business and you feel uncomfortable 1) meeting new people, and 2) promoting yourself. Of course, with a small business, a huge way to get your name out there and to get new clients is to go to "business mixers", where talking to strangers about how great you are is all you do.  His solution is simple and direct: define "success" before you go into a challenge, and repeat to cement incremental progress into large gains over time. Example: define "success" as making one contact in small business mixer, so you can talk with that person later.  Then, schedule yourself for another mixer. By doing these two things over time you learn quickly, expand your comfort level, and adapt yourself to having a running business with lots of contacts.

The second talk very much overlaps with the essential book "War of Art". It's too easy for us to say "I'm great, but I won't bring everything I have to this project until X", where X is something arbitrary. For example in one project I disengaged because I expected someone else to integrate my work into the overall system, whereas management expected I'd learn how to deploy my own work. My ego slowed down my growth in that job.  Todd points out that this behavior is pure ego and self-defeating.  By bringing everything you have to each project, you have the capability and resilience to do great work at all times.

Both of these podcasts are highly recommended!

Radio Free Leader: Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone with Andy Molinsky

Accidental Creative with Todd Henry: The 3 Letter Word That’s Robbing You Of Great Work