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A Paradox

During my corporate decades, I always hated performance reviews. Even the best ones never felt good enough, and sometimes they held unpleasant and unfair surprises. Like the time I was told that the average of a 5 for business results and a 3 for people management was a 3. Ouch!

Reviews just plain felt demotivating. Even though I knew the reviewer had worked hard to bring me value, had my interests at heart, and was eager for my appreciation. That may have been one reason why I had the reputation, from early in my career, of being untrainable.

And I was. I had no interest in what others thought. I considered myself my own most objective and harshest critic. I was always learning and improving; I just wasn’t wired to learn from mentors. I learned early in life that I learned by finding my own way. My subordinates learned that I assumed they were the same, but they weren’t. So I passed years as a terrible trainer, a terrible coach.

Then I left corporateland. I became my own boss. And a funny thing happened. I found myself seeking advice. I cultivated mentors. I asked to be taught. I even became a very good mentor and coach, or at least that’s what clients and mentors tell me.

When others controlled my career, I was determined to do things my own way. When I control my own career, I am eager to engage and learn from others.

I don’t know how widespread this paradox is, but I know I am not alone here. I proclaim this: If you feel alone while part of an organization, you may find community by leaving it.

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One Response to “A Paradox”

  1. Terrific work! This is the type of information that should be shared around the web. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post higher!

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