I Succumbed to Peer Pressure
Yeah, I admit it. I succumbed to peer pressure: two times in the past month alone. Now that I’m down this menacing path, I want to continue it and even bring some people with me. Let me explain.
Here’s what happened to me in the last month:
I was pressured by a group that I wanted to like me.
In early February, I attended my first meeting as a new board member of the CIAB, an industry association representing the premier insurance brokers in the country. Sure, as a rookie member, I want them to like me! Which means I better contribute – and fast.
Fortunately I got assigned to the Planning and Strategic Resources Committee, where our current big task revolves around recruiting and attracting a new generation of professionals to our industry. And, boy as a growing company, does Assurance have a lot of recruiting to do! I certainly believe that recruiting isn’t just a job for HR – it’s a job for everyone in our company. But admittedly I haven’t been acting that way. It’s way past time I got off my laurels and figured out ways to be impactful in finding top new talent, attracting them to our company, and setting them on a path for success. So it took a little peer pressure to get me there. But I’m there, and fortunately, I have a strong ally who can help me on this path to change.
I was bullied by a coworker into doing something I believed was wrong.
To protect confidentiality, I’ll call my coworker “Jay”. Well, actually that’s his name – Jay’s an ex-marine, so he doesn’t need my protection. Last month, Jay was itching to roll out an online portal for our clients to access all kinds of valuable tools and resources to help them better manage their risk. He asked for my help, but I had reservations because it would be jumping the gun on a broader client portal that we are developing in the next year, and it would be disjointed. In a perfect world, we’d roll out the whole, complete shebang, well-organized and perfectly-executed all at once.
But the runway is a bit long on that larger project and, frankly, he was right - why should our clients wait when we can deliver tools they need now. Luckily I just finished Sheryl Sandberg’s book and her quote “Done is better than perfect” resonated with me. To be fair, Jay didn’t really bully me, that’s not his style. But he did convince me and peer pressure won once again.
Obviously, this was not the bad kind of peer pressure. This was a new kind of peer pressure in my working world that kick-started me down a different, better path than the one I was on. If you don’t mind, though, let’s keep this just between us. I don’t want too many people to think I’m a pushover – after all, I do have a reputation to maintain.
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