It typically means that they will find it challenging to establish relationships based on trust, particularly with direct reports.
And it’s not because what they say is not true. It might indeed be that they expect a lot of themselves, that they are never happy with what they achieve, that they always strive for more.
But they then extend the same expectations on others. They assume that just because others don’t feel the same pressure, don’t adhere to the same standards, don’t agree with the same critiques, it means they are not as committed, as motivated, as performing.
We want something, and when we get it we end up being deeply disappointed, unexpectedly scared, ultimately sad.
It might be because that thing is not what we wanted (or needed), but often it’s also because we do not have a clear idea of what the thing will entail. What skills are needed, what resources are necessary, what it actually means to be in the situation.
So, before we move onto the next big project – the new thing we really, really want now – let’s try to be with our achievement for a while. Let it sink in, get used to its reality, make it comfortable.
It might as well be that a bit of routine and practice is all we need next.
It’s easy to care when you control everything. It’s also easy to give up responsibilities when you are no longer committed. But the most difficult thing to learn to be a good parent, or a good leader, is the ability to let go of control while still continuing to care deeply.