The Seven Invisible Risk Factors of Collateral Damage

woman and donut
Just like cigarettes and donuts skyrocket your chances of becoming a coronary time bomb, there are risk factors which increase your odds of becoming a collateral damage catastrophe.

Taken individually, each of these risk factors increases the odds of Type A top performer collateral damage occurring. However, when two or more of these factors occur simultaneously, the odds of collateral damage increase exponentially.

If you’ve got two or more of these risk factors, it’s like being a chain-smoker perpetually gorging on Big Macs, french fries and Mountain Dew. Keep it up and there’s going to be costly consequences.

Here’s an important secret I want to share with you.

Unlike donuts, Big Macs and cigarettes, these seven collateral damage risk factors are so common they go unnoticed. They vanish right before your eyes.

Because these risk factors tend to be invisible to the untrained eye, recognizing the early warning signs of collateral damage is like trying to spot the hidden object in a visually cluttered photo. Now you see it. Now you don’t.

It’s no wonder we find ourselves asking, ‘What just happened?!” when a top performer goes nuts, implodes or does something stupid. We didn’t see the writing on the wall.

Over the next several weeks in this blog, we’re going to dig into and drill down into each of the seven risk factors that increase the odds of a collateral damage catastrophe.

Here’s a preview of coming attractions.

The Seven Risk Factors that Encourage Collateral Damage Catastrophes

1. The Whatever It Takes Philosophy is encouraged and rewarded.

2. Normalization of Deviance turns unacceptable behaviors into acceptable behaviors.

3. Performance Metrics are skewed towards measurable business objectives.

4. Collateral damage occurs in small bits that add up over time.

5. The top performer is unaware she is creating collateral damage so self-correction does not occur.

6. The complexity of the work environment hides the top performer as the source of collateral damage.

7. Supervisors tend to give the benefit of the doubt until the cost becomes too great.

What collateral damage risk factors are sneaking up on you?