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Passion, People and Principles

My worst habits

post # 521 — April 4, 2008 — a Careers post

In my previous blog post, you were invited to say what the worst habits of partners in porofessional firms are.

But you know what? It’s always easier, as someone very important once said, to see the speck of dust in someone else’s eye than the plank in your own.

So, it may be a more meaningful (and honest) question to ask “What are YOUR worst habits?”

I’ll go first. I plead guilty to

a) Procrastination (leaving everything to the last minute)

b) Failing to show as much interest in other people as I should (it’s not bad intentions, just bad habits – I forget to call and check in as to how things are going)

c) Blowing hot and cold on ideas, thereby confusing people who work with me

Anyone else want to join in on this one? What bad habits do YOU have?


David Ewing said:

Ok, I’ll come clean too. My WORST habit is constant over estimation of how much I can get done in a given period of time. I’m constantly setting deadlines that are too tight and jamming my staff and myself into corners that we don’t need to be in.

Disasterous as that is, my second worst habit is failure to review weekly reports. Looking over my staff’s time tracking and progress reports week-by-week almost never gets done.

Wow, I actually feel better for admitting it!

posted on April 4, 2008

Ed Kless said:

It would be hypocritcal to respond to the previous post and not this one. So here goes:

  1. Interrupting people in mid question during a presentation.
  2. Being too much of an iconoclast.
  3. Providing an answer to quickly to a customer when I should spend more time defining the problem.
  4. Not checking my spelling in blog posts, see my post on Bad habots (< -- on purpose).

posted on April 4, 2008

Raissa Evans said:

I plead guilty to:

– Interrupting people to add to a point they are making, instead of letting them finish it.

– Valuating solutions and sometimes ideas as “right” and “wrong” based on how efficient they appear to be.

– Venting. As an executive, I feel like this should be one that’s behind me by now.

posted on April 4, 2008

Florian Hollender said:

My “opportunities for improvement”:

– staying in touch. Hits the private life harder than the professional life, but even there, I could do more with all the interesting people I meet.

– Tedious tasks. Staying sharp while proofreading a big presentation just does not come easily to me.

– information overload. I soak up books, articles, web news… but have a hard time converting it all to good content.

posted on April 4, 2008

Simple said:

procrastination – i’ve others – i’ll try and get round to posting later ;)

posted on April 4, 2008

Dean Fuhrman said:

On the theory that “if you spot it, you got” I have to say that I violate the one I posted on the worst managment habits – let everything become a crisis and then call for more efficiency.

posted on April 5, 2008

Pawel Brodzinski said:

1. Being overly defensive when it comes to discuess what I and my team have screwed.

2. Task organization. It happens sometimes I forget to do some things as my inbox is too messy.

3. No politics. While in the office it works fine, with customers it isn’t that good idea. And sometimes I find it really hard to force myself not to say the whole truth.

posted on April 7, 2008

John Flood said:

Oh, it’s procrastination too! So why are we all so bad at this? Do we live in fear of what we may produce? Thus if we leave it to the last minute, we are not really responsible for the output?

posted on April 8, 2008

Ed Kless said:

@Pawel – I think your point #3 is not a problem at all. My personal belief is that we need more, what I call, authentic consultants. Too many in our profession are willing to continue to spoon feed pablum to our customers instead of challenging them by speaking the truth even if it hurts.

posted on April 8, 2008

Riccardo said:

Hi All this is my first entry on this blog. I use English as my second language so apologies in anticipation for any mistake.

Procrastination is one of my worst sins too! However I do it only with the tasks I dislike most (i.e. admin or mundane stuff!).

What I am asking to often to my self lately is: to what extent should we accept tasks or projects we dislike or that are not rally part of our job, and for how long, before being in the in the position to rise the issue with the boss without appearing unreasonable or inflexible?

Thanks for reading

posted on May 13, 2008