Risk Factor 1: Whatever It Takes Is a Big Mistake

whatever it takes kid

Are you ready to cast some light on the seven invisible risk factors of top performer collateral damage? Let’s get going. Here’s the first one.

Risk Factor 1: The ‘whatever it takes’ philosophy is encouraged and rewarded.

Let’s be clear.

The vast majority of top performers are Type A individuals. They are ambitious, driven to achieve and prone to setting very high expectations. It stands to reason then that these well-intentioned warriors are predisposed to take on enormous challenges and power their way to success by doing…. ‘Whatever It Takes’.

To get a flavor of this ‘success on steriods’ mindset, check out this quote from T. Herv Eker’s best-selling book, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind.

The definition of the word commit is to “devote oneself unreservedly.” This means holding absolutely nothing back; giving 100 percent of everything you’ve got to achieving wealth. It means being willing to do ‘Whatever It Takes’ for as long as it takes. This is the warrior’s way. No excuses, no ifs, no butts, no maybes—and failure isn’t an option. The warrior’s way is simple: “I will be rich or I will die trying.”

From Oprah to George W. to Kobe, the Type A mindset of ‘Whatever It Takes’ shows up all over America. Don’t believe me? Just start paying attention. “Whatever It Takes” is flexing its cape covered arms hither, thither and yon – including the business world.

Executive leadership and Board of Directors are often composed of Type A titans who encourage, reward and perpetuate the ‘Whatever It Takes’ mindset.

There is a dark side to this seductive Type A mindset that is seldom recognized until it’s too late.

Regardless of whether you are the boisterous Braveheart or the tight-lipped, stoic Dirty Harry, Whatever It Takes can be a huge mistake. When you shift into the ‘Whatever It Takes’ mindset, you become so focused on achieving the end result that you develop tunnel vision.

Using the ‘Whatever It Takes’ approach to power through challenges day in and day out leads to exhaustion, diminished judgment and poor execution. The odds of a collateral damage catastrophe soar and, chances are, you don’t even see the writing on the wall because you are too consumed doing ‘Whatever It Takes’.

Listen to what former professional baseball player and New York Times columnist Doug Glanville has to say:

There is a tipping point in a player’s career where he goes from chasing the dream to running from a nightmare. At that point, ambition is replaced with anxiety, passion is replaced with survival. It is a downhill run and it spares no one.

We call it “drive” or “ambition,” but when doing “Whatever It Takes” leads us down the wrong road, it can erode our humanity. The game ends up playing us.

Your ‘Whatever It Takes’ may be well-intentioned, but, in the long-run, it’s a short-sighted strategy that backfires and dramatically increases your odds of a collateral damage train wreck.

Are you being seduced by “Whatever It Takes”?

Coming up: Risk Factor Two – Normalization of Deviance