Monday, January 16, 2006

Don't Confuse Being Aggressive With

Aggression + Principle = Conviction

Aggression – Principle = Hostility

-from Get Out of Your Own Way at Work...and Help Others Do the Same, by Mark Goulston, M.D. (Putnam, 2005)

Many people give up their power because they have a conflict about being aggressive. They view aggression as the same as hostility and view being hostile as being pushy, overbearing and bullying which goes against their view of themselves. This is often a reaction to being bullied or watching helplessly when someone else was being bullied during their childhood.

Aggression is not the same as hostility and can be healthy. Tiger Woods is aggressive in the way he plays golf; Lance Armstrong about the Tour de France; Jack Welch about the way he ran GE. All three are tenacious. At its core, tenacity, is fueled by aggression that has been internalized and integrated in your personality.

The key to whether aggression is healthy or unhealthy is whether or not it is tied to a principle. Tiger Woods,' Lance Armstrong’s and Jack Welch's aggression is built upon the principles of disciplined training, preparation, practice, execution, evaluation of the results and readjustment (see more about the Success Secrets of Tiger Woods and Jack Welch).

In the current corporate world, Jim Sinegal, CEO of Costco, and Peter Wuffli, CEO of UBS, are very aggressive about helping their companies succeed. Their success is built upon the principle of doing the right thing with regard to their people, their customers and their shareholders.

Throwing away healthy aggression because you think it’s all bad is “throwing out the baby with the bathwater” and also throwing away your chance to succeed in a competitive world.

Share Dr. Mark's "Usable Insights," with your co-workers, friends and families. If you think it will help them, it's not being pushy.

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