The God Complex
My client was in a pickle, having a bit of meltdown, and everything I was trying was not helpful. So finally, I decided to tell a story. It worked. Maybe this story will work for you one day too.
We all know at least one colleague who believes they are God, right?
They know everything and always have the right answer for every situation. Did you know the God Complex is particularly serious with members of the C-Suite? Here’s a peek inside from my seat at the table.
For some reason, when we move higher and higher up the ladder, we come to believe our words and our way of thinking are gospel. I know I sure did. It was always great fun to be part of a small C-Suite group that ‘ruled’ the organization. I was part of the in-crowd — the people who played GOD.
The problem with playing GOD
Is none of us receive the same level of God education. The truth is we made it all up — based on our rank, our earnings, our ego and most importantly, our ability to influence the thinking of the CEO.
There usually comes a day in everyone’s lives when we get called out for what we don’t know.
Mine was the day I spoke about millions of dollars in savings by simply following a few ‘amazingly strategic’ ideas. The questions I got were, “What about our best and second-best-selling items? Wouldn’t we be smarter to concentrate on those?”
It wasn’t that I didn’t have a good answer. I had NO answer.
Because God never looks at the simple stuff.
God is God because the ideas and answers are always complex. That’s what makes God, God. Complexity.
Here’s what I learned about humans, the God Complex and what I now preach:
- It is far easier to be a human than a God. Approach everything with innocence instead of knowing.
- If you can not explain yourself in words that a ten-year-old can understand, you are trying to be too sophisticated and complex. So instead, figure out how to be simple — in writing and speaking.
- The fundamentals of all business lie in the product or service being sold. Fixes to businesses do not need to ALWAYS start with the non-revenue generating items. Far too often, a tweak here and a slight curve there on the top line will create more profit and keep more people employed.
- An excellent way to stay focused is to put everything in terms of units sold. For example, salary by person, rent, new initiatives, and the like can easily be understood as a mathematical formula where the denominator is units sold.
- You win more friends and influence more enemies by staying humble. As much as we would prefer to be Godlike in our expertise, everyone sees through us. Almost immediately.
- A terrific way to stay humble is to have a dog. Because perfect perspectives percolate picking up poo.
Would you like some help simplifying your business in a very human and un-Godlike way? Let’s set up a time to chat. You decide if I’m the right fit.