Peg Says

Being right or doing right.

Posted in Leadership,Life at MSFT by Peg McNicol on March 5, 2012

Lately, I have found myself getting incredibly stressed by other people’s actions. I see people making decisions that I know are not the right ones for the long term goals of the company, but look great in the short term.

I love to be right and I work hard at it. I research, question and probe. I try to look at situations from as many viewpoints as I can until I come up with the right answer. I admit I get aggravated when short term solutions are rewarded, or when all the variables have not been considered in a decision, but I am quick to concede, on the rare occasion when I am wrong (okay when I am proven wrong, not in the moment when I still think I am right). For me the need to be right is up there with wanting people to like me, and the two traits don’t always go together. This is being magnified by me right now because I’m working with someone right now who likes to be right even more than I do. This has caused so much tension, I have lost sleep. Losing sleep over stupid work things (as opposed to important work things) makes me ask, is it worth it to be right?

Perhaps doing right can help counterbalance the need to be right, and especially the need for acknowledgement of being right. What does that look like in a work environment? It’s easy with friends to judge when they just need support versus real advice. Work is trickier in so many ways.

People aren’t remembered in particular for being right. They are remembered for doing right. Doing right in everyday life, and doing right in the big things in life.

Not for saying I told you so.

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