Viewpoint | Management: Stop Comparing

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Judging yourself against others is a road to nowhere.

It’s clear to all of us that the good “old” days are in the rearview mirror and we are now in the good “new” days.

Moving into 2018 we have a very different world with new vehicles, new business considerations, new social fabric and a whole new breed of workforce.

It’s time to take stock of how we operate our business—capturing the best of what we have always done and incorporating the demands of a brave new world.

Being a leader requires new attitudes and new behaviours. “Because I said so,” won’t cut it anymore. In 2018, employees have expectations and rights.

They also have their own new neuroses that come from new demands on everybody’s lives. It’s time to ditch the dinosaur scales and become a smarter, more aware leader.

I have been reading a lot and discussing the ideas I come across with colleagues and friends. Some concepts I encounter are familiar and well worn. A few are new ideas—not radical, but eye opening articles about issues that we all encounter. Sometimes a new approach is completely common sense and has been sitting right under your nose. But in the heat of battle, who has time to ponder new practices?

Some tips

Here are some tips I’ve discovered that I hope you will share with your team as well as adding them to your own behavioural toolbox.

A destructive habit is to constantly compare your life and yourself to otherpeople and their lives. We compare our clothes, cars, houses and bank accounts. What a way to run yourself down!

Don’t do it! Realize that you can’t win. No matter what you do, you can pretty much always finds someone else in the world that has more than you or is better than you at something. That’s very obvious.

Yes, you may feel powerful for a while when you get a hot new BMW. Buta week or two later someone will drive up in an even shinier one.

Don’t compare your life to those of other people. It’s a habit that needs to be broken. Looking at other people and judging their lives just isn’t productive. It gets you in that no-win competitive mindset that then diminishes your own life.

Plus it’s mean. You’re OK, they’re OK, and why negate that? Sure, there are better hockey players in the beer league, but your employee has fun being a middle level Thursday night player. Be kind. It will reflect in your own selfworth feelings.

Be you

Please don’t compare the other way, either—inflating your concept of self worth is just setting yourself up to deflation later. Drop the whole cycle—don’t feel superior, don’t feel inferior.

Instead of comparing yourself to other people, create the habit of comparing yourself to yourself. See how much you have grown, what you have achieved and what progress you have made towards your goals.

This habit has the benefit of creating gratitude, appreciation and kindness towards yourself as you observe how far you have come, the obstacles you have overcome and the good stuff you have done. You feel good about yourself without having to think less of other people.

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