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Desperation Diminishes

January 31, 2021
Leadership Advisory

“Desperation is like stealing from the Mafia: you stand a good chance of attracting the wrong attention.” Douglas Horton

Many capable professionals disqualify themselves from positions of leadership because they appear desperate.  One of my mentors explained that those who seek leadership positions disqualify themselves as leaders.  You might ask, how is that?  When seeking positions of power over others is pursued more than becoming a person of character others admire.

I’m aware of a very capable leader who is so focused on getting promoted that his commitment, and even his competency, for his current role is now called into question.  He has attracted the wrong attention. Unfortunately, if he would have played full-out in his current position and consistently engaged in his current assignment, he may have been selected to the very role he so earnestly sought.  Because he has become distracted, frets openly about how he deserved the other position, and consequently lacks focus on his current job, he has disqualified himself.

One of the marks of a great salesman is the ability to never sound desperate.  Desperation diminishes effectiveness and repels would be clients.  So it is with leadership.

The best way to avoid desperation, and attracting the wrong attention, is to commit fully to the current assignment that you’ve been entrusted with. Do that well and you avoid appearing desperate.  Do that well and you increase the possibility of being entrusted with greater positions of responsibility and honor.

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