18 Mar Leadership Nudge® 300 – The “Get Better” Self
The defending behaviors of the The part of the self that wants to project and protect an image of competence in the world, deserving of praise and recognition. The “Be Good” self needs to be tamed in order to play the improve play. actively inhibit our willingness to accept critique. The The part of the self that wants to project and protect an image of competence in the world, deserving of praise and recognition. The “Be Good” self needs to be tamed in order to play the improve play. is protective about attaching our ego to what we’ve done in the past. Instead, the The part of the self that wants to grow and get better. The get better self yearns for learning and is seeking and curious. The “Get Better” self needs to be active for the improve play. invites feedback and involves asking questions and seeking help. This leads to learning, growth, and innovation.
Learn more by reading this blog post – What it takes to reflect on the work you’ve completed.
I’m standing in front of a 19th century coal–fired steam engine. Now let’s say you were an engineer and you were responsible for designing or working on or making these steam engines better. That’s what your life was about and it was good. These steam engines made the lives of many people better by reducing the cost of transportation. But now someone comes along with a new idea, “Hey, let’s make a diesel engine” or worse yet “oh my gosh, an electric engine!” Those engines are better because they’re faster, cheaper to operate, and create less pollution than these engines. But your ego is attached to this.
What’s happening there is your “be good” self — the sense of, I’m worthy, that my work has value — is getting in the way of the “get better” self.
In organizations that’s an impediment to innovation and improvement. What we want to do is have the “get better” self have supremacy. The get better self invites feedback, is willing to take criticism, and is not afraid and protective about attaching our ego, to what we’ve done in the past. It’s forward looking.
Let your “get better” self reign supreme and tamp down the tendencies, the protective tendencies, of the “be good” self. I’m David Marquet, that’s your Leadership Nudge.