You didn’t get promoted? Look in the mirror.


It’s crucial to know when you’re bad at something…

For example, look at this attempt at a front flip I made a few days ago on my Costa Rica trip (I’m still here!)

My wife took a selfie highlighting a ridiculous attempt at a front flip and posted it to Facebook (thank you hunny) which ended in a severe back slap.

I know I’m bad at front flips, and that’s important. Last week I tweeted:

The tweet was prompted by a friend of mine whose co-worker was complaining they didn’t get promoted this year.

“My manager coach didn’t even put me up for promotion”

Boo. Hoo.

The real problem it appears is that this person has no idea what they’re bad at. Namely auditing, people and team management, and setting expectations.

It’s a shame, a real shame.

I know I suck at front flips, BUT, I have no desire to get better. So I generally stay on solid ground.

But I if I wanted to be a front flip master, I would need to realize how terrible I am.

I got a great response from twitter which I think Illustrates the point:

Screen Shot 2014-07-04 at 7.03.23 AM
All of us suck at something. But realizing how far you have to climb to achieve great is often the first (and a very necessary) part of the process. Experience and recognizing the low point is a requirement for reaching a new high. Think of economics. The trough in the recession is where the bad operators are purged from the system. Mal investment and inefficiencies in the market are all reorganized in a productive manner to achieve a new peak.


Nobody owes you anything. And nobody is coming to save you.

My advice to the person who missed their promotion, and anyone else out there who’s setting and missing goals. Take a long and honest look in the mirror at what you’re really bad at.

For another example, think of a toothache. Experiencing the pain, knowing you have, and getting to the doctor is important. If you ignore a rotting tooth, it could get so bad, they have to remove part of your jaw.

Until your problems are confronted, they are the invisible hand that will hold you back…

For humilities sake, here’s a shortlist of my shortcomings:

  • Front flips (obviously)
  • Paying attention
  • Sitting still
  • Respecting authority for authorities sake
  • Caring and paying attention to detail (this killed me in auditing)
  • Being patient
  • Ending work/professional relationships gracefully

What’s yours?

P.S. I am really really bad at front flips. As you can see, I didn’t try just once…

Screen Shot 2014-07-04 at 7.42.22 AM Screen Shot 2014-07-04 at 7.42.15 AM Screen Shot 2014-07-04 at 7.42.09 AM