Crossing The Line

There’s a fine line between a healthy perspective and an unhealthy perspective that appears, at first glance, to be healthy.  It’s as true in business as it is for individuals.    So how do you keep your business from crossing the line from healthy to unhealthy?

Businesses sometimes cross into an area that is somewhat reminiscent of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and when businesses do that, they need to counter the symptoms with old-fashioned business sense.

Has A Grandiose Sense of Importance

It’s important to make the most of the achievements and talents in business.  It’s important to be recognized for achievements and talents.  What a business should never do is try to make those achievements and talents appear to be more (or less) than what they are.   Let them stand on their merit and people will see them for the cool achievements and talents they are.

Promotes Storyline of Having Achieved Unlimited Success, Power, and Brilliance

As much as all of us would love to be at the center of unlimited success, power and brilliance, we all know that’s not possible.  It’s a great daydream from time to time, but the reality is that life is an exciting rollercoaster of ups and downs, even in business.  Success, power and brilliance are never unlimited.  There’s a limit, but it can be reached and surpassed many times over the years.

Associates Only With Other Special or High-Status People Or Businesses 

There are no people or businesses that are so special or who have such a high-profile that they call for excluding other people or businesses.  I’m not talking about things such as members-only organizations and clubs here.  Trust me, celebrities and corporations are approachable and accessible as long as you contact them in accordance with proper business practices and appropriate behavior.  If you meet up with a business or a person who feels they are so special and powerful that they can only associate with people just like them, walk away.  They’re not that special and their status isn’t all that high or influential.

Requires Excessive Admiration

No one wants to do business with, or be associated with, a business or entrepreneur who is high maintenance.  If the need to be admired exists, that’s a warning sign that the business or entrepreneur isn’t as successful or talented as they would like others to believe.  If there’s the need for excessive admiration, it’s a red flag for trouble in the future if you involve yourself or your business with them.

Has A Strong Sense of Entitlement

There’s a difference between having a healthy perspective of how one expects to conduct business, and then there are unreasonable expectations coupled with favoritism towards those  who automatically comply with unreasonable expectations.  So why would anyone automatically comply with unreasonable expectations?  Usually it’s because those who are buckling under either don’t need the harassment or abuse that comes from not immediately complying.  Chances are, however, that the first chance that business or entrepreneur has to cut loose from the situation, they fly the coop.

Exploits Others For Their Own Advancement

The business equivalent of a sniper, when a business takes credit for the work others have done and shoots down the contributions of those others in favor of bolstering their own importance in a project, it’s time to decide if the business relationship is worth continuing.  While there are instances where being a team player is the best business practice, a healthy business will still acknowledge the contributions of each team player without demanding the spotlight themselves.

Appears unyielding and dictatorial

Expecting others to go along with your ideas and plans is usually part of being a leader, however, the most effective leaders are those who have set ideas and plans that include opportunities for changes to be made based on input and results from the marketplace, from colleagues and associates, from customers and clients, and from the general public.  Nothing says failure quite like refusing to see things the way they really are.

Shows Arrogant, Haughty Behaviors Or Attitudes

Everyone appreciates the self-confident business person and the proud company, but when that grows into arrogance and takes on an air of superiority, that business person or company has started down the path of corporate narcissism.  Successful businesses and entrepreneurs generally don’t subscribe to being condescending or self-important, and it’s best for all of us involved in business to take a step back and assess whether we’re moving towards that line with each success we meet.

We’ve all dealt with business that have crossed the line from being confident into the murky waters of narcissism.  Those are the businesses that ultimately fail.  As long as you keep your eyes open for companies and entrepreneurs that are headed down the wrong path, and as long as you do a regular check on your own business, many of the details that cause businesses the biggest worries will be taken out of the equation.  Until next Tuesday, may the successes you meet with be the successes that touch others as well.

Elyse Bruce


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