This weakness can result in the inability to confront others. As a leader, you must learn to challenge relationships in order to accomplish what is necessary. Principles are universal truths that apply no matter how people feel. The EIA needs to know when to take the risk and follow the principle over the popular opinions of people.
Because the EIA is so connected within their social networks, juggling relationships and opportunities can cause follow-through and quality to suffer. The urgent becomes the imposing tyrant, preventing effectiveness and due process. Timing and time management are always a major issue.
There is a difference between working on your business and working in your business. The EIA can get caught up in business far too often. So when the tyranny of the urgent is present, a perpetual state of crisis ensues. And while the EIA may be able to handle the urgencies—at least in the short-term—others are not built the same way. As a result, colleagues, project teams and managers burn out. For example, the EIA can make enthusiastic promises that are unsubstantiated and cannot be fulfilled. When the reality that those promises cannot be delivered hits home, relationships are affected and a cycle of denial can occur.
The EIA has been known to use their professional influence to induce a compromise of ethics and integrity, attempting to convince others to lower their standards of behavior and to cross boundaries. . Often expressed by spinning the truth or using manipulation to finesses situations, the EIA may attempt to convince others to normalize the practice of breaking boundaries.
This does not just apply to a social context. EIA managers are often found holding onto members of their team versus releasing them into their potential. Sometimes the EIA is unwilling to equip people for growth and development. At other times the EIA may flat out create blocks preventing people from moving on. Should someone actually break free, he or she and everybody else, will hear about the EIA feels about it.
The EIA can be in denial when vision and reality do not align. Sometimes the EIA expects to reap much more than what is actually sown. This can lead to a sense of entitlement.
This scale was created to rapidly and clearly illustrate the spectrum of extremes of an individual’s intrinsic motivations as a EIA. This scale can then be used for coaching or consulting.
Integrating all business, political, legal and social structures for a transformational and sustainable legacy.
Empowering and reforming communities through principles and values.
Influencing change at the organization level by the practice of principles rather than relying on individual personality.
Willing to invest personal time in helping others achieve versus the monopolizing the social spotlight.
Taking time to invest in personal growth and character development versus relying on raw talent.
Recognizing that “You reap what you sow” and willingly take action, or sow, and be accountable accordingly.
Ignoring the consequences of a lack of performance, resorting to blame or “spinning” the story.
Focusing more on personal rights than on responsibilities—especially in areas where there has been no investment of time and effort. Expectations become demanding.
Using unethical practices for personal gain. Includes tactics such as fear, seduction, false flattery and taking credit where it is not due.
Spreading an ideology that there are no consequences for underperformance or for destroying social capital. Believing that good intentions justify false realities.
Using a skillful combination of manipulation, exploitation, hidden agendas and secret alliances. Can lead to organizational coups.
The following statement represents the thought pattern that forms the Legitimacy Gap for an EIA. Believing this thought and acting on it leads to shortchanging the purpose, passions and potential of your MDNA.
“I only have value and worth when people want and need to be connected with me.”
When motivated by or operating from this thought pattern, the EIA is prone to see his or her connection to others as the EIA would like it to be. The EIA can then avoid confrontation and the risk of alienating others in that connection. But sometimes, as we all know, confrontation and risking rejection is necessary, especially when working together to deliver results.
Social networks are not always meant for comfort. Feeling connected may be comforting, it may even provide a buzz, but what happens when the connections are no longer equal? Sometimes you may have to pull rank; at other times, be willing to back down. At the same time, others will outgrow your network, which can feel threatening, even violating. But you should not allow your lack of comfort in this area to determine your self-worth.
Time to be on your own is needed to overcome the Legitimacy Gap. Constantly being connected to social networks can cause a valuable loss of time for personal development. Living out of the thought pattern that forms the Legitimacy Gap can make you vulnerable to being defined by others. Exploitation of your talents can even occur. Taking regular time to be alone allows you to explore whom you really are.
The simplest and most highly recommended method to develop your Intrinsic Motivational Design is to find legitimacy—your personal sense of self-worth—outside of your professional status and performance. Remember, you are a human being and not a human doing.
Ask yourself this question: “If my professional status and ability to perform were abruptly stripped from me, how would I account for my self-worth?”
Most people reference family or personal endeavors as the reason for their feelings of self-worth. If you did not have a solid answer to the question, you may need to make a serious investment of time to figure it out.
Next, you need to evaluate your priorities.
Ask yourself this: “Outside of my professional status and performance is my personal character truly reflective of where I know it should be?”
This is where we must ultimately arrive before true development can begin. We must be honest with ourselves about our true character outside of work. Are you the same person within every social circle, or does your character change, depending upon the people you hang with? If your professional accolades did not count, would the people around you still celebrate your character?
It may sound counterintuitive to approach this as a professional by starting with life outside of work, but this is the launch point to get where we all desire to be. So with a mindset of personal character development, here is a simple four-step process. Taking these steps will help you avoid the Legitimacy Gap and keep you on the path of success and fulfillment.
Become aware of where you are feeling insecure professionally. What are your fears? Where is the anxiety? Write down whatever comes to mind. Do not judge what you write. Simply explore what may be there.
Recognize your own convictions and moral standards. What are they based upon? Do you feel you have compromised? Have you attempted to normalize compromise for others?
Are you afraid of confrontation and of losing your following? Ask yourself why.
Are people under you and around you constantly picking up the slack when you are unable to deliver on your responsibilities? Do these people feel they exist only to do your bidding versus mutually benefiting from the relationship?
Do you have unrealistic goals? Do you always seem to underestimate the time, people and effort that it takes to get the job done?
Are you lacking long-term planning both professionally and personally? Can you realistically say you have amassed the resources and achieved what you set out to do by this point in your career?
Do you have a difficult time accepting discipline from leadership as a statement of your character? Do you find yourself denying their claims or spinning a story to cover things up?
Do people feel you can become complacent, self-absorbed and stubbornly rooted in pride?
Challenge your own convictions and moral standards. As you do this, you will give others permission to have a voice and they will be drawn to you.
Really ask yourself: “Do I believe this is right, or am I settling for what feels good and is easy?”
Challenge those who are offended or wallowing in a victim mentality to embrace pain and take responsibility for moving forward. Be sure to do it with the right motives and compassion. Make a conscious lifestyle choice to risk relationships so that the universal principles of Life can be proven true.
Stop being afraid of people’s opinions. Be honest about your fears. Then go on a personal detox by celebrating the times when you risked alienating a relationship and found success. Do this daily.
Study the biography of one influential leader a month. As an example, focus on true leaders who made a greater impact on society versus just successful individuals. Specifically examine how they dealt with negative people around them and how they synergized for win-win experiences despite challenges.
Find an individual, preferably a mentor, or a group, to stay accountable to during this process. Ask yourself three questions and share your plans:
Spend regular time every week considering the following about being an EIA.
Your MDNA can be summarized with the phrase, “You reap what you have sown.” This needs to be your mantra because you must learn to sow in life before reaping the benefits of being an IEA. It is like the difference between using a microwave for an instant meal and a slow roaster for an exquisite delicacy. Like a farmer who sows seed, you must be patient. A bountiful harvest only comes when you have allowed the seeds of integrity and character to grow, producing a quality of fruit that attracts greater relationships and more opportunities.
A mindset of patience must be for the long term. The more you abide by Life-based principles, such as integrity, transparency, honesty, service and discipline, the more you will naturally attract people, win trust, and connect the dots so that all reap benefits.
The greatest trap to avoid for those that operate in this MDNA is a “cult of comfort.” The cult of comfort seeks to reap where it has not sown, putting pleasure ahead of long-term positive sustainability. Seeking comfort first feeds a root of denial that settles for temporal change or, worse, an illusion rather than sincere continual transformation.
Your temptation can also be to manipulate people and circumstances for instant gratification or to avoid the consequences of your actions. Again, denial can prevent you from taking responsibility and experiencing the fullness this MDNA gift has to offer in the realm of both natural and meta-physical law.
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