7 Pitfalls that Undermine Professionals

April 21, 2014 By Marc Smith Sacks - No Comments
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7 Pitfalls that Undermine Professionals


A Leader’s lament: “My boss doesn’t set me up for success…” My response: “I imagine you feel frustrated, because you see your possibilities as limited, but you are focusing on what your boss doesn’t do for you, rather than on what you can do to satisfy your boss.” My Client begs the question, “Are you a professional?”


In our Generative discourse, Bob Dunham defines a Professional as “One who makes and fulfills promises to satisfy the Customer”.  I encounter a surprising number of emerging Leaders who fail to progress, because they do not understand what it means to be a professional. Here are seven pitfalls that will undermine Professionals:


  1. Sloppy Communication: Are you diving head-long into tasks and forgetting to clarify your Customer’s conditions of satisfaction?
  2. Failure to Make Offers: Are you waiting to be asked and missing opportunities to generate value?
  3. Over-Commitment: Are you saying “Yes” when you should be saying “No”?
  4. Failure to Declare Breakdowns Early: Are you covering up problems and setting your Customer up for disasters?
  5. Failure to Declare Completion: Are you moving on to the next task without letting your Customer know you fulfilled your promise?
  6. Arrogance/Role Confusion: Are you judging your performance by your own personal standards rather than your Customer’s?
  7. Failure to Check for Satisfaction: Are you neglecting to check with your Customers to ensure they are satisfied?


Perhaps you see a missing conversation. Be proactive about satisfying your Customers. Ask them, “Are you satisfied with the results I am producing for you? Are there any conditions under which you could imagine being more satisfied?”  Are you being a professional? Ask your Customers. Only they can tell you. @marcsacks #leadershipflow


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