Don’t Lie to Yourself

lie4.pngAre you as good as you think you are? Maybe you are better than you think you are! It is important that you have a practical and realistic view of your skills. This isn’t about being a buzz kill, but rather, knowing where you are will help you figure out how to get where you want to be. Overstating your skills can be a career limiter. However, knowing your capabilities and asking for a stretch position is highly appealing to executives. Lots to think about in these few points!


It is important that you have a firm grip on reality. Why? Because your leaders and their peers will have a pretty good understanding of that reality. You can only bluff your why for so long before it will blow up. You are far better off having a candid view of your true skill sets and any limitations. Knowing your reality will ensure that your personal credibility is high. Credibility is the foundation of your personal brand and therefore it is something to be carefully guarded and developed.

360-degree view

It is very helpful to have a 360-degree view of your strengths and weaknesses. A candid assessment of you by your peers, staff, and leaders is an invaluable view. Most companies have a human resources tool and process that will enable this information to be gathered. The insights gains will enable you to focus your skills development efforts.

The stretch position

Once you have a honest and frank understanding of your strengths and weaknesses you are able to define new skills that you want or need to develop. There is a lot of strength in going to your business leaders, providing them with a candid self-assessment, and a request for a stretch position so you can learn new skills. This is a way to gain upward visibility and separate yourself from the crowd.

The risk of the Lie

Those who consistently overstate their skills or abilities will eventually crash. Being “caught out” is embarrassing. However, the vast majority of the time management will just begin to side step the resource and limit their progress. An unspoken black mark will be placed on the resource who is not rooted in reality. You can’t afford this risk so be candid with yourself and others about your skills and capabilities.


We have all seen very public crashes and recoveries. You can recover from just about anything if you build the right plan and take the right steps. The best way to recover in this instance is to simply begin to have a honest conversation with yourself and then others as appropriate. To have learned from a mistake often builds character and strength. Both of which are in high demand in business. It will simply be a matter of time. Worst case, a change in employers could give you a fresh start.

How honest are you about your skills? What are the areas of skill and capability that you are not honest about?

David Reimer

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