Mark was one of those people you would love to have in your business. Meticulous, incredibly experienced and knowledgeable and you knew that if you handed him a problem to solve it would be extensively dissected and the solution would be rock solid. You’d call him a very safe pair of hands and very reliable. People admired him for his knowledge.
So why was Mark receiving feedback as follows:
- ‘He’s by no means a leader’
- ‘He’s a poor time manager’
- ‘He’s impossible to manage’
- ‘He’s never got time for me’
- ‘He’s moody and constantly complains’
- ‘He hinders rather than helps’
- ‘He’s too busy to return my calls’
- ‘He never responds to emails’
- He’s holding up progress’
Not really the feedback you would expect from someone who had very strong talent. But this feedback was consistent, consistent to the point it drove him out of the business.
So where did Mark go wrong?
Despite the enormous value he could offer the business it was overshadowed by his tendency to constantly complain about how busy he was and by doing this he constantly got himself into a complete state of overwhelm – hence the moodiness. Busy consumed Mark so much he truly believed he was busier than anybody else and people could wait for him.
Mark lived and breathed busy and it was his undoing. He damaged his reputation; people didn’t consider him a leader and also did their best to avoid him.
Mark left the business and guess what? It happened again in his next workplace. Same feedback, same reactions. The one thing Mark lacked was the self-awareness to understand what his mindset, language and action were creating for him. While he thought he was busy and super valuable others saw him as a pathetic time manager and someone who uses busy as an excuse to cover up his inadequacies.
Mark constantly used the ‘busy’ excuse. He’s too busy to answer calls, emails, help others, service clients and keep his attitude in check. Basically he considered himself more important than everyone else.
The excuse wore thin, and it does. And it will. Be careful how often you and your team are using busy as an excuse for being non responsive, for not meeting deadlines, for not helping others etc. Whilst you may thing it’s quite acceptable, it’s sending a completely different message to others.