I don’t know about you…but I’m only learning how to lose gracefully…at Monopoly.  I know there is a place for the ability to live without getting your way.  I get that.  But there is something so sacred about the business that many of us are in, I really believe we ought be be pretty serious about succeeding at what we’re attempting.  Not at all casual.  Very intentional.

And yet…there is a great danger in the inability to see our own shortcomings. 

What’s got me thinking this way today?  I came across another great link from Bill Taylor over at the Mavericks at Work blog after he sat in on a workshop by Sydney Finkelstein, the Steven Roth Professor of Management at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Management and author of Why Smart Executives Fail.  Bill’s post is very helpful.  Finkelstein’s The Seven Habits of Spectacularly Unsuccessful Executives is more than a little scary.  Here are the seven habits:

  1. They see themselves and their companies as dominating the environment.  They "tend to believe that their companies are indispensable to their customers."
  2. They identify so completely with their company that there is no clear boundary between their personal interests and their corporation’s interests.
  3. They think they have all the answers.  "One of the critical side-effects of a CEO’s fixation on being right is that the opposition can go underground, effectively closing down dissent."
  4. They ruthlessly eliminate anyone who isn’t completely behind them.
  5. They are consummate spokerspersons, obsessed with the company’s image.  "Instead of accomplishing things they often settle for the appearance of accomplishing things."
  6. They underestimate obstacles.  "When CEOs become so enamored of their vision they often overlook or underestimate the difficulty of actually getting there."
  7. They stubbornly rely on what worked for them in the past.  "They insist on providing a product to a market that no longer exists."

Sound familiar?  Anyone?  Anyone?

Overstock.com, Inc.

How Important Is Succeeding?