What is it that would drive smart men to risk their entire lives with one action that they obviously know is wrong? In this week's leadership blog, coach John M. McKee provides some insight about their motivation.
"John! You're a guy AND you're my coach; can you tell me what's wrong with these guys?"
The client who was asking me this question last week is an executive at a large entertainment company. She was referring (of course) to Schwarzenegger and Struass-Kahn, now two former power brokers. My client is no babe in the woods; the entertainment sector is pretty blatant when it comes to sexism itself. But this one really got her and — I'm guessing - a big majority of the population at large.
So, what could cause people who are leading successful careers to act so impulsively? Clearly these two have better than average IQs and understand the rules of good behavior.
I believe there's one over-arching reason behind most people doing things that they know are wrong. And it's usually well hidden and hard to spot until after they screw up. And that is, there's a big difference between being "successful" and being "satisfied."
Success, in many cases, has to do with achievement and/or attainment. For example, when we work hard and get the job we aspire to. Or if we study the stock market and earn a great deal of money. Success can have to do with personal relations as well, such as when we plan to get married and have children and then do that.
There are a ton of examples of success. Outwardly, that individual looks like he/she has it made. But internally, they feel a lack. Often they can't even put their finger on what it is that they are lacking. But in many cases, it drives them to do more.
Satisfaction, on the other hand, has to do with being able to enjoy what we've got. It comes from having a life that is balanced in each of the three key life aspects. Think about people you know who would say that they are satisfied with life. They don't have big gaps in what they have and what they want. They are, too some extent, content with how life is playing out for them.
The former governor and head of the IMF aren't much different than Tiger Woods. Each of them risked everything to have a little more. And they paid a steep price for their lack of satisfaction.
Here's to your future....
John M. McKee is the founder and CEO of BusinessSuccessCoach.net, an international consulting and coaching practice with subscribers in 43 countries. One of the founding senior executives of DIRECTV, his hands-on experience includes leading billion dollar organizations and launching start-ups in both the U.S. and Canada. The author of two published books, he is frequently seen providing advice on TV, in magazines, and newspapers.