As a new manager at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture), I was determined to show others how it was done. But I took on too many clients simultaneously and didn’t ask for help. When a colleague tried to tell me things were going south, I ignored him. My stubbornness, naivete and ignorance led to screwing up not one job, but three.
Not only did I mess things up, but I wasn’t honest with myself about what happened, why it happened, and how I contributed to it. I was accountable for three spectacular failures, and for years was in denial of my own culpability. I was also too proud to admit my failures to colleagues and management and help others learn from them.
Later in my career, I came to grips with what happened and was willing to share the experience with others. But there were times along the way I could have helped others but didn’t. Bad on me.
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