PM Quote of the Day — Queen Victoria

Great events make me quiet and calm; it is only trifles that irritate my nerves

I very much identify with this quote.

My most vivid example is from my start-up days. Our team had just made a great sales call. We had an interested customer, a unique product and value proposition, and a strong list of other prospects. When we met to debrief on the call and to plan the follow-up meeting, everyone was excited and eager.

As the conversation turned to the pending presentation, one of the team spoke up. He had not exactly been pulling his weight. But now he expressed enthusiasm for the next steps and asked what he could do to help. Instead of graciously saying “Sure, that would be great”, I decided that just then would be a great time to settle scores. Making a speech that made clear who had done the work — me — and who hadn’t — him — became paramount to all other interests.

As you can imagine, our fellow-feeling and spirit evaporated immediately after my monologue. The team disbanded shortly thereafter — politely, but finally. I still had a hooked customer; however, without the team, I couldn’t land him by myself.

My obsession with what was really a trifle — making sure that I got the credit and my partner got the blame — destroyed our team, our friendships, and our dreams.

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