The highest-paid people in the world love feedback. If you’re Tiger Woods, Floyd Mayweather, Cristiano Rolando, Lionel Messi, LeBron James, Roger Federer, Phil Nicholson, Manny Pacquiao, Kevin Durant, or Lewis Hamilton; you love feedback.
According to Forbes, “the annual rankings of top-earning athletes look at salaries, prize money, bonuses, endorsements, appearance fees, and licensing income. The Top 10 for the decade, which includes a pair from boxing, soccer, basketball, and golf, collectively made $6.1 Billion.” That’s ten people who love feedback … they made $6.1 Billion. Yes, you heard me right, billion with a B.
So, why do you avoid feedback? Feedback can be painful, and it shows us our shortcomings, our weaknesses, and areas of our game we need to improve. This is why the ten highest-paid athletes in the world have coaches and mentors that they pay to give them feedback.
To be their best, they have to work diligently on improving their weaknesses. Many times the improvement only removes seconds or inches off their shot, stroke, or follow through.
I’ll ask this again, why are we afraid of feedback? We shouldn’t be. If we want to improve our skills and performance, it will require looking into the mirror of feedback. Many times, that’s asking our managers, boss or coworkers what they honestly think about an area we’re trying to improve.
Don’t allow fear of the truth to keep you from exposing your weaknesses or areas of improvement.
In the Harvard Business Review article, “Fear of Feedback,” Jay M. Jackman and Myra H. Strober say. “Those who learn to adapt to feedback can free themselves from old patterns. They can learn to acknowledge negative emotions, constructively reframe fear and criticism, develop realistic goals, create support systems, and reward themselves for achievements along the way.”
The only thing to fear about feedback is nothing. Learn to embrace feedback, no, learn to run after it, and free yourself from the fear and worry about what others think. Who knows, you may become the highest-paid member on your team by facing your fear, head on!
As a PMO manager, director, or CIO of an organization, you’re charged with facing your fears head-on and providing solutions that can help your organization become one of the top-performing firms in your industry. Are you avoiding feedback on how your project management organization is operating? In the same way that top athletes flourish by getting feedback from their coaches and mentors, the best-run organizations in the world flourish by understanding their PMO maturity levels and taking action on the feedback and insight they receive when completing a maturity assessment.
Gerald Leonard, PfMP, PMP, MCTS, CQIA, ITIL, COBIT, is the CEO of Principles of Execution (PofE), a Certified Minority Business Enterprise, Strategic Project Portfolio Management and Culture Change consulting practice with over 20 years of experience working with Federal and State Governments and large multinational corporations. He works with organizations and professionals who want to develop a culture that works, leveraging agile strategies to do more with less and improve your bottom line results. Gerald is the author of “Culture Is The Bass: 7 Principles for Developing A Culture That Works” and an upcoming book, “Symphonic Culture: Unify, Strategize, and Execute Collectively for Optimum Results.” Gerald writes about strategic portfolio management and organizational culture change.