What do your co-workers REALLY think about you?

That’s a scary question. We all think we have an idea of where we stand, what persona we exude and how difficult we’d be to replace at work and home. But do we really know?

Can you imagine the morning you wake up to face the results of a survey provided to your co-workers and family, ALL about you? If you are brave enough to administer one to your peers @decisionwise is a great resource.

As a result, you can receive ratings on traits like cooperation, respect for others, loyalty, time management, effective communication, trust, and more.

When I was CEO of my own company, I never administered such a survey to my staff, but wish I had. I operated on my own bravado, felt like I was owed something from everyone, and did my best to pretend I really cared about anything but our bottom line. Any doubts that crept in, I attributed to imposter syndrome, but deep down I knew something was not in balance.

After being fired by the board of directors and replaced as CEO, ratings from others were evident. My actions, rationalized to myself as “to provide for others and advance our mission”, resulted in shock, dismay and may still have negative, lasting traumatic effects on those who worked for me and supported the company.

The resulting loss of respect, admiration, trust, and caring relationship that I do not have now, with those I worked closely with, is difficult to accept. Whether I like it or not, my criminal conviction provided more than a survey from everyone. It exposed a personal and professional gap and incongruency between who I was and who I want to be. It is damage that can never be reversed.

Extending the same survey concept to family, I get a somewhat similar result post-conviction. Fortunately, my wife and kids have always known the good that lies inside me and stuck with me. But as to my mom and siblings, I am not so lucky. I have become the object of gossip and an outsider not to be trusted.

My advice to those of you who have the career you always wanted now, don’t be afraid to measure the corresponding views of those around you. If you are operating from a place that feels right for whats best for you, that doesn’t mean that you have what’s best for others in mind. For me it’s too late, but I foresee a much better future for those that engage the opinions of others and make improvements according to the results.

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