Backseat Drivers

How is it that people can operate automobiles for decades and not get better at driving?

Many of us carry around the perspective that experience is the key to getting better at anything. In fact, many companies require a certain amount of experience when hiring for key positions. Yet, we’ve all seen people with multiple years of experience operate at a less than optimal level, in everything from driving a car to managing a business unit.

Why?

No backseat drivers.

Let’s face it, after that first few months of learning to drive with your parents in the passenger and back seats (and living through the mild corrections, sighs, and screams that the task frequently brings), we are done with backseat drivers.

We essentially disconnect the feedback loop and lock in the existing skill set.

In “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There”, Marshal Goldsmith writes, “Successful people are incredibly delusional about their achievements. Over 95 percent of the members of the most successful groups believe that they perform in the top half of their group.”

Where have you become deaf to how you come across?

If you were to ask people how you can improve, what would they say?

What adjectives do they use about you when you’re not around?

Have you cut-off your feedback loop by emptying the backseat?

 

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