Never tell Eagles to Stop Soaring
Exceptional people are advised to tone it down. You’re too organized, too compassionate, too visionary. “All you think about is getting things done. You need to tone it down.”
Never tell eagles to stop soaring.
Everyone loses when exceptional organizers are told to tone-down their passion. It’s like tying the hands of a mime.
Ignore people who suggest you tone-down your gift.
More not less:
The trouble with “Mr. Get it done” is he’s pushy. The trouble with “Mr. Compassion” is he can’t allow people to be uncomfortable. They don’t need to be less. They need to be more.
Advising someone to be less of who they are is like putting rocks in their pockets. Instead, advise them to make their strength better.
Not less of your strength – more of what enhances your strength.
My heart sinks when someone says, I’ve been told that I’m too compassionate, too driven to get things done, or too focused on the future. I hear this malarkey more than you might imagine.
Most will never be great at more than one thing. But, you won’t be great at anything, if you tone-down your greatness.
“Mr. Get it done” needs see how compassion gets things done. Guess what happens when you walk on people?
“Mr. Compassion,” needs to see how getting things done is compassionate. It’s painful when things don’t get done.
Stop advising people to be less of who they are. Instead, work on adding behaviors that maximize their strengths and eliminating behaviors that hold them back.
Gifted analyzers are usually poor decision-maker. Telling them to analyze less won’t make them better decision-makers. It’s like putting rocks in their pockets. Try building a structure around their skill that includes deadlines and decision-making tools.
What corresponding weaknesses do you see with your strengths?
What new behaviors might maximize your strengths?
What behaviors are getting in the way of your strengths?
Timely piece of advice Dan. I do sometimes wear the coat of compassion though most of the time I push and do not discourage. I have seen the effect of being compassionate and have corrected myself. But if I do not stop the eagle there will be no need to correct so long as the eagle flies in the right direction.
Good morning, Dan: Please…Keep Soaring! Magnificent!!!
And may your fingers keep flying over the keyboard too 😉
Alright Dan, this is your most cheese laden title yet. It’s possible I puked in my mouth just a little bit. Tone done the soarin’ a bit there buddy. 😀
I disagree. I think this is a intelligent post that identifies a genuine issue. Would we have asked Wayne Gretzky to stop skating around so much and diversify?
I simply can not agree with you at any level. Our country was not built by middle of the road milk-toast individuals with little to no ambition. Without ‘GO-GETTERS’, I hesiate to think what our present world would look like today?!?
Hi James. I took your comment in the spirit of fun.
Loved this post, thanks so much for writing it. Realised thought that I think I am the one that is starting to say it to myself so that I fit in better or don’t come across as too enthusiastic or passionate! Need to un-clip my own wings and enjoy soaring again.
“It’s like tying the hands of a mime.” I’ll remember this one for quite a while! And SO TRUE!
Very cool post. Sometimes the command to “tone it down” emanates from our own internal voice, because it’s repeating what it’s heard from others. That voice needs to be silenced too.
I’m waiting for the day when everyone stops stereotyping women as “aggressive” when they are soaring, yet when men are soaring they are “assertive.” I’ve been characterized as aggressive, when in my mind, it’s only my passion that is soaring.
In the mid-eighties my boss was our super-star salesperson and he was right for these pressure assignments. One day everything changed, bypass surgery, out three months.. The owner of the company came to me, literally put his hand on my shoulder and explained that these would be critical times but before he allowed the pressure to be the center point of the conversation he said this “.. and you are exactly the person I want for this!” he flipped the conversation from crisis to confidence and in doing so helped me to see my gifts and potentials clearer.
“Leaders help others uncover all their God-given potentials.” -its one of my personal credos…
BTW I don’t mind the Cheese… in France it’s an entire Course in the meal .
Timely, awesome post Dan! I always say, “You can’t kill what has been predestined to live” Telling an eagle to stop soaring is like giving a death sentence to a person’s purpose, dreams, hopes and ambitions in life.
Great concept; most people have to see the weakness in the world, because in makes the ego feel better. We all want to feel better. Problem is; we are not our egos, unless we are caged by them. Your insight is deeper than that; your goals seems to ignore ego. Your Growth mindset is apparent and nourishing. “Ignore people who suggest you tone down your gift!”
GREAT POST Dan;
If your interested in an excellant read Dan try David McNalley’s, ‘Even Eagles need a Push’.
The heading says it all Dan, “NEVER TELL EAGLES TO STOP SOARING”. I do however have a bit of advice for all ‘Fellow-Eagles’. When we meet prospective clients, customers, or co-workers for the first time, ‘TONE IT DOWN A BIT’. Call us Eagles, Go-Getters, GO-2- PEOPLE, we can easily come across as ‘cocky and arrogant’ to those who we meet for the first. We only get 1 chance to make a good first impression, (ain’t THAT the truth), SO DON’T BLOW IT… It’s in these circumstances I remind myself to tone it down a bit, to talk less & listen more, while remembering common curticies exspected protoccols.
But once you know me,,, ” THE GLOVES ARE OFF !!!”
I swear you read my mind, Dan. Was just thinking yesterday about the concept of the “flipside of your strengths”. Each thing you’re really good creates a potential weakness on the flip side, and we’re usually blind to that. The solution isn’t to become average at everything, but to understand how to use your strength while being aware of the potential weakness that comes attached with it.
If we say to the average person that all people should be equal, they would say, “Of
course!” And if we also say, “Let the best person win,” everyone applauds this as a noble thought—for we all know we can’t keep a good person down; there are irrepressible spirits who break all molds and barriers irrespective of the fetters on performance imposed by organizational structures.
However, when great differences in individual performance emerge, often embarrassing differences between staff members are exposed, as well as peaks and valleys in overall organizational productivity. Unfortunately, past management and old leadership nostrums worked against such outstanding individual performance, protecting the less ambitious and the slow runners–and curbing the more motivated and the swift.
Most leaders know we don’t empower people, just like we don’t get people to take responsibility: People empower themselves and either they accept responsibility or they don’t. The leader’s position is to inspire, and mostly to free one’s staff so they may enjoy the “right to perform”…via the desire to excel, by perseverance in the face of challenge, and by zeal in the exercise of their craft. This “right” is made “privilege” by management, and made available to all.
Yet, management must stop doing things for people, and allow the peak performers be rewarded for their gusto. For those who wish to seize it, management must offer them the opportunity to find fulfillment and wellness in their excellence.
Very good point. One of my strengths is developing and supporting my people. The downside might be that I back them right or wrong, and I work on the principle of never leaving anyone behind. Sometimes you have to let go, I guess, but it isn’t easy.
Eagles find the updrafts – if not with you, then someplace else.
i just go ta video of an eagle catching a fish.
Some are needed out front and others are needed to follow in partnership with the heavy daily tasks of the job. Let us all respect the individual gifts. While sometimes I do some of the leading, I do prefer to be along side that leader and encourage.
Yes! Love this!