When A Project Goes South Do You Stand Up Like A Goat?

We've all been there. Full of self-confidence and maybe a little arrogance. It’s that one moment at work when you have single handedly decided you are the smartest person in the room. Armed with a brilliant idea, you stand to give a presentation which will most definitely put your name in lights.

You are giddy as you wow your peers while casually presenting the next big thing your team is going to rollout. Your idea is flawless. Then, out of the clear blue, the other smartest person in the room proves you wrong! They proceed to poke holes in your idea while deteriorating your chance to make a name for yourself with the next big thing! As you sit and listen to every painful comment, you begin to clearly see the point your peer is making. You are now mentally weighing pitfalls you hadn’t previously considered. As your bubble slowly bursts and you watch as your project goes south, you are faced with two options: stand up like a goat or admit defeat.

Standing Up Like a Goat

While it’s tempting to tap into your inner goat and bleat your peers under your breath, do a gut check before you stubbornly push your idea further up the chain. Is this something you are willing to stake your reputation on? I’m all for taking a stand and not yielding to pressure from your boss or peers when you are confident in your decisions, but only if you are confident.

The lines of confidence and stubbornness can easily become blurred if you are unable to look at a situation objectively. Being the office goat for a few days when you know you are right is one thing. Taking on that title indefinitely because of foolish pride is no fun. Like it or not office politics are very much alive and well. Risking political capital to stubbornly stick to your guns on a bad idea won’t feel great when the dust has settled.

Admit Defeat

Okay, so this isn’t Game of Thrones and asking you to “admit defeat” may be a bit overdone, but you understand my point. When you’re wrong, you’re wrong. Just admit it and move on. Making a mistake or pitching an idea that flops is fine, provided you recognize the stop signs and don’t speed past them.

You are more likely to make a major mistake at work when you fail to plug into the life experiences and mental horsepower of those around you. While it’s hard to let go of an idea you have worked hard on, don’t dig your heels in when faced with negative feedback. Listen to your peers.

When Your Project Goes South, Be A Thoughtful Leader

I’m not an advocate of going through life timidly waiting for your chance to shine. I am also not an advocate of arrogance or a lack of humility. For me, choosing to stand up like a goat at work is on par with drinking a really great bottle of wine. Reserve it for a special occasion; when you have something to celebrate.

If your idea is great back it without apologizing. However, if your project goes south and needs some work, listen to your team and don’t be afraid to admit you were wrong. Leaders are made each day through not only their own skill and hard work, but more importantly the skill and hard work of those around them. When your project goes south choose to be a thoughtful leader, not a goat.

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Jeanna McGinnis is a Founding Board Member at ReResumeMe.com and AVP, Client Development / Career Strategy at A Players Executive Search Group, Inc. As an Industry Certified Resume Writer and Professional Career Coach, Jeanna empowers individuals to find happiness in their professional life through results based career coaching and opportunity targeted resume creation. Rewriting futures-one resume at a time! Connect with Jeanna on LinkedIn