SEABE stands for “SEArching for the Best Excuse.” A few years ago, there was a member in our team (we will call him “Joe”) who was an expert in SEABE. When the boss asked him to do something more than what he was doing, he would immediately come up with an excuse as to why he wouldn’t be able to do it. The excuse would be so good that neither the boss nor anyone in the world could dispute what was said. The result was that the boss would go and find someone else to solve the current problem. Joe would think that he won. This continued for a few months. the results were always the same. At the end of every such interaction Joe would think that he “won” the game. Don’t get me wrong. Joe was a smart guy and he would complete whatever was assigned to him brilliantly. What was different was that Joe would never take any additional work!
After a few months, things changed! The boss would no longer come to Joe with any additional work. The boss would not ask him for any help beyond what was assigned to him. For Joe, this was a major victory!
You all would have guessed what happened after that. Many of Joe’s peers who were happy to walk the exra mile were promoted when the time was right. Joe was always treated with respect but his career stalled. Cutting long story short – Joe left the company in search of greener pastures.
SEABE always helps – in the short run. You can think that you are smart if you SEArch For The Best Excuse. But you really are not. They say that “It’s either reasons or results and reasons don’t count!”
Next time, when you have an opportunity to walk the extra mile, stop and observe your thoughts. Is your mind racing for SEABE or is it racing to find ways to somehow make it work? There is a day and night of difference between the two approaches.
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