Feedback, the Power to Achieve

This past week I completed the DISC program.  It was not the first time I had done it, yet the results were an interesting surprise.  Not only for me, but also what I learned about my team.

Rewind about decade.  I was an annoying, think I have it figured out, and don’t understand why everyone can’t keep up leader, or perhaps human being.  I was impatient, easily frustrated, and generally irritated about the incompetence around me.  Yea, I was that guy.

It was a pivotal moment for me in my career.  A crossroads of sorts.  I was delivering, what I considered, amazing results and had built a great team of all stars, doing pretty great stuff always.  Even if I never told them how great they were.

One day my boss pulls me in and recommends I get a 360 degree review.  I guess there was some feedback he was hearing from others and he wanted me to better understand it for self improvement.

I went in thinking this was going to be just your standard everyone is happy, you are doing great, yada yada yada.  Turns out it wasn’t.  I guess I learned how bad my general lack of self awareness was.  And while I was having what seemed like great success, the bridges I was burning would soon leave me stuck out on an island somewhere, by myself.

So I had choice, I could listen to the feedback and attempt to accept and address it or ignore it.  I chose.  Perhaps if tons of people were saying I wasn’t good at something, maybe there was something there.

With this in mind I made some pretty big changes in my life and career.  Firstly, I needed to find someone that was good at, what I wasn’t and then go work for them.  So I did that, I took a temporary step back in my career (or that’s how I saw it at the time), and found someone I knew was great at my gaps.

Secondly, I got a career coach, Steve Gutzler.  I thought, my basketball coach helped me get better in sports, so perhaps I needed something like that for my career.  It turns out, everyone probably needs a coach.

I guess you might be wondering, what were the areas everyone thought I was not that great at, here you go:

  1. People – listening, supporting, enabling
  2. Emotional Intelligence
  3. Collaboration
  4. Influencing

For me, it was a blow.  I was surprised by this, especially as I loved people and really appreciated them. My sole purpose is really to help and serve and I was severely failing at that.

One of the first things my career coach had me do, was a few different personality profiles.  The goal was to better understand who I was and then consider how that played out on a daily basis.  The side benefit was that I might find I am acting certain ways that are not in alignment with what I think and feel or my character.

It was a telling moment.  I learned a ton about myself, who I thought I was, and who I wanted to become.  It was at this time that I wrote down my first ever core values and ethos statement. And shortly thereafter a leadership charter or a group of principles that I wanted to be as a leader.

As with real life, this is not a fairy tale.  Recognition and immediate action does not mean instantaneous evolution.  It was the beginning of a journey.  One that I am still on today.  One that I will be on for some time.

Fast forward back to today, the surprising results from my DISC profile, was that many of the things I have been working on for 10+ years have naturally worked themselves into my everyday life, work habits and behaviors. And that these changes have allowed me to collaborate and co-create a successful present and future with a team of very different and diverse individuals. A team I absolutely respect and adore.

The message I think about as I write this is, being who you want to be, is possible.  It will take time, failures, hard work, and many moments of small success sewn together over many years.  Each of you have it in you, to be the person you want to become, grab it, own it, and know all those people around you, are there for you.

Courtesy: ,,,

Jerry Leisure is a Customer Success leader that believes the heart of every company is their customer. He can be reached via LinkedIn , @J2leisure on Twitter or

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *