Rick Rigsby or Frank Leahy or someone else (the internet attributes this quote to many different people) once said, “Ego is the anesthesia that deadens the pain of stupidity. “
I use this quote to remind me to take a long, hard look at myself now and then. Have I been stupid in the past? You better believe it. Have I done stupid things? Strike two. Will I do something stupid in the future? Chances are better than in Vegas. Will I learn from my mistakes and stupidity? I have and certainly hope to continue.
We don’t have to be overtly selfish to let our ego get in the way. Whenever we are inwardly focused, we fuel our ego. When we are outwardly focused, we tame it. Whenever we spend energy and time to try to hide our stupidity, we are applying the anesthesia.
May I suggest three exercises to let our stupidity shine and give us a chance to become better and learn from ourselves. We can spend time with those who are different from us. We can seek feedback and use that feedback to grow and improve. We can change.
Do we have a group of people who are smart, talented, gifted and from varied backgrounds we surround ourselves with? Do we seek their input and ideas? Some people use a coach. Some setup advisory boards. Some people sit in a different chair each time in class. Doing things on purpose to be surrounded by people who are different from you will give you the chance to learn from others.
Do we ask for feedback from our teams, family members, and customers even if it might be hard to swallow? Do we use that feedback to make changes and be better? Some people perform 360 evaluations. Some ask for net promotor scores. Some take the time to have a real conversation about their experience with you. Purposefully seeking feedback from others and using that feedback to improve shows others you value them.
Are we really willing to change? Do we make and follow a plan to change? Do we really want what that change will bring? We might as well skip the first two exercises if we don’t do anything with what we learn from them.
Join me in letting our stupidity show and becoming smarter and better because we did something about it.
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