How Imagination Ruins Leaders

Imagination destroys some and beats others down.

Phantoms pollute thinking and poison reality.

When imagination ruins you:

#1. A phantom boss – that brings out your best – poisons your relationship with the boss you actually have.

Fan your own flame. Stop using disappointment as justification for mediocrity.

  1. Remember how far you’ve come.
  2. Believe in your ability to contribute by remembering past contributions.
  3. Do important work when you’re at your best.
  4. Express what you care about.

You are responsible to manage your own energy.

#2. Opportunity you dream about mocks the puny opportunities you actually have.

  1. Don’t whine about being under-utilized. Words are rudders.
  2. Row with someone. Make sure your boss is completely convinced you are rowing with her. Eagerness to improve your boss suggests your aren’t committed.
  3. Do something small. It’s better than doing nothing at all.

#3. The team you WISH you had limits your ability to develop and leverage the team you actually have.

  1. Find jobs that allow team members to thrive. Align assignments with strengths. If someone consistently fails in one area, don’t expect them to magically succeed.
  2. Focus on what they can do, not on what they can’t.
  3. Ask yourself, “What kind of leader do I need to be?” before focusing on the weaknesses of others.

Deal with the people around you as they are, not as you wish they were.

#4. The qualities you WISH you had strangle the strengths you actually have.

  1. Reflect on times when your energy goes up. What were you doing? Do more of that.
  2. Stretch yourself.
  3. Take the VIA Character Profile Report (There’s a button for a free version in the upper right.) or the Clifton StrengthsFinders Assessment.
  4. Stop judging yourself by others.
  5. Connect with someone who believers in you.

Never let wishes ruin opportunities.

How might imagination be the cause of problems?

What suggestions do you have for someone who lets wishes ruin realities?

Related article: 7 Downsides of Hope (Psychology Today)