Several years ago I interviewed someone that had a lot of impressive experience, someone that I enjoyed in many ways, but someone I did not endorse as a prospective team member for only one reason… My gut said that this person would consistently operate with this philosophy, “It’s My Way or The Highway!” And I knew that mode of thinking would damage relationships, divide teams, decrease effectiveness and impact customers.
Recently I’ve witnessed other situations where a group of people have been so focused on what they wanted, that even after a majority decision they used intense peer pressure, persistence, and manipulation in attempts to force their agenda.
So I’ve been pondering:
- What causes people to behave this way..
- When is it wise to believe in your vision so much that you absolutely won’t bend?
- And when is it wise to leave your ego behind and seek a win/win?
This is what I’ve come away with:
- The drivers of this behavior that vary – from ego, to fear, from learned behavior, to historical pain.
- If you are in pursuit of a personal vision for your life, and others try to alter your vision… It is wise to listen for nuggets of truth you may need to hear and then follow your gut.
- And as I’ve considered previous workplaces, organizations I’ve worked with, communities I’ve been a part of, and even friends in struggling marriages… There is a consistent theme. People that operate with the My Way or The Highway Mentality are lonely bullies that are under the false impression that manipulating others will bring them joy. They frequently use tactics that spread fear and doubt and breed mistrust. They destroy shared visions, momentum, unity and joy.
I’ve experienced real synergy, more than once. It is absolutely worth seeking, worth creating, worth savoring and worth fighting for.
The best organizations out there have plans in place to protect themselves from lonely bullies that have the ability to destroy them from the inside.
“There are two ingredients in successful organizations: Smart & Healthy. It is almost impossible to build a competitive advantage based on knowledge because it is too easy to copy. Very few organizations are healthy enough to tap into the knowledge that is there.” Patrick Lencioni
As you consider the families, the communities and the organizations you are a part of… How are you protecting yourselves from those that would steal your opportunity to experience real synergy?