From another room my friend could hear her husband at his computer, muttering under his breath “God, I’m good”. It was a statement he made frequently, when he was focused on his work and thought no-one was listening.
Self-approval is something we should all experience; and it does no harm to tell ourselves that we’re doing okay. Self-satisfaction, on the other hand is best kept to a minimum.
There are numerous examples of company chiefs – including one of my former employers – who over do the self-congratulation and pay the price. This particular Chief Executive Officer was excellent at leading people into the unknown; sharing the vision and galvanising everyone into action to make it happen. That takes skill and was to be commended.
This same CEO dreamt of building a world-beating organisation and for a while seemed to be realising that ambition; until they got carried away with their own hype; started cutting corners and eventually went out of business in dramatic style.
There’s a time and place for a victory dance – usually when the dream becomes reality; because something about what you do or how you do it has forever changed the complexion of the business. This is also the time to take stock of lessons learned before preparing to execute the next aspiration.
The point to remember is that in order to move things forward; to make things better you need people to follow you and help you to make it happen; and creating a compelling vision and articulating it clearly is one part of that. To make progress you must also inspire people to assume new goals and responsibilities and then convince them to take action.
The benefit to the organisation is a self-motivated workforce, all inspired to achieve great things; and the benefit to you as leader is the realisation of your dream.