The complacent person, the busy person, the jerk and the performer; which category are you? and it implications and how to become better.


It is interesting to know that, a person may be a performer in his professional care, and a jerk in the care of family.

And this can keep shifting, depending on what actions you take and how you keep and manage your promises.

You can be a performer on one day, and a jerk, or a safe person, or a busy person the next.

Your actions inside of your promises day on day determine where you are found on a particular day.

The Safe/Complacent Person;

  • The safe person makes few promises, but acts to fulfil them.
  • They can be trusted, but perhaps not for bigger promises.
  • They respect the status quo, and operate inside of the boundaries of the status quo.
  • They may claim that they are satisfied, but on deeper questioning, it becomes clear that they are waiting to emerge, and make big promises.
  • The safe person is also the complacent person.
  • They always think small and make modest commitments, and take action only when required.
  • They are also averse to learning and growing they consider it threatening or too cumbersome.
  • The safe person or the complacent person may not be as ‘safe’.
  • They are actually risking their ‘life’, their expansion, and their growth in being ‘safe’.
  • The complacent person has no ambition, and also has no desire to do more.
  • They are contracted and are drifting, with limited control on their own life.

Implication and possible emotions.

  • The safe person is blind to his or her own power to create new futures or generate new actions.
  • They are blind to their untapped potential.
  • The emotional tendency is towards fear and contraction, rather than attraction towards growth.
  • They are blind to new possibilities, and hence new avenues of action to achieve these new possibilities.
  • A safe person easily resigns, with an underlining assessment that states ‘I cannot do this’ or ‘this is not possible’.
  • They are often naive, with an underlining assessment that states ‘everything in life is good, and there is no need to take any new action’. They may ignore that they perhaps are not taking care of what they care about.
  • Fear, with the underlining assessment that ‘life is dangerous and taking on bigger possibilities will expose me to negative consequences.

How to become better.

  • Ask the question: ‘What is stopping me from making bigger promises?’
  • Get present to your assessments and ground your assessments.
  • Make slightly bigger promises from the one you made last week/month.
  • Fulfil those promises.
  • Make slightly bigger promises the following week/month, and fulfil those promises too.
  • Very soon, you will assess yourself to be a better version of yourself.

The Jerk;

  • The ‘Jerk’ makes a lot of promises, but does not fulfil most of them.
  • They want to think big, but do not back up promises with action.
  • There are different levels of jerks, and at the highest level, they are even blind to the promises they are making.
  • The jerk has a low self-esteem, because they cannot trust themselves.
  • Others also cannot trust the jerk, because historically, the promises made to others were not fulfilled.
  • This lack of keeping promises, to themselves and to others, impacts the success the jerk can achieve.
  • This person can also be the pleaser who wants to please everyone by saying yes to every request, and they end up not keeping most of their promises.
  • They are dreamers thinking big possibilities, yet do not take actions to make these dreams come true.
  • They are also victims, who blame others and the world around for not fulfilling their promises.
  • Jerks often make promises that are not clear and the conditions of satisfaction not specific.
  • It gives them the excuse to interpret the promise in a manner that suits them.

Implication and possible emotions.

  • The jerk at the highest level is blind to the fact that what they say is interpreted as a promise by others.
  • They are blind to the impact their broken promises have on their reputation, results and relationships.
  • They are also blind to what really matters to them, and that they are not taking care of what really matters to them.
  • With an underlining assessment that states, ‘I cannot do this’ or ‘this is not possible’ the jerk will resign.
  • They are mostly confused, with an underlining assessment that states, ‘I don’t know what to do next’ and gets paralysed into not taking new action.
  • Getting overwhelmed, with an underlining assessment that states, ‘I have too much to do, and I don’t know where to start’.
  • Bravado, with an underlining assessment that states, ‘I need to pretend that I can do more than I can really do’

How to become better.

  • Make promises that you can fulfil.
  • Get present to an assessment that you may have around declining requests others make to you.
  • Start realizing that it is better to decline a request rather than accept a request and then not fulfil it.
  • Promises exist in the interpretation of the listener.  Be present to the promises that are being listened to.
  • Renegotiate promises that you cannot fulfil.

The Busy Person;

  • The ‘busy person’ is very busy.
  • They enjoy being that way.
  • For businessmen, this is ‘busyness’, and not business.
  • One of the biggest problems people have in tapping their full potential is that their calendars are full of tasks, or actions that are not inside of promises.
  • The busy person is trapped in a small world.
  • The busy person has no problem with taking action or doing hard work.
  • The irony is that they consider themselves to be good performers or they even do a lot, yet they are limiting their potential.
  • When you question them why they are taking that action, they are dumbfounded.
  • Although they are good at taking action, they are still in the ‘drift’, and not in ‘design’, because they are busy with what shows up as a to do at that moment.
  • They live in the world of ‘I don’t have time’ and are most often overwhelmed and exhausted.

Implication and possible emotions.

  • The busy person is blind to what their cares are; or their commitments are disconnected from their cares.
  • They do a lot of work, but a lot of that work is not inside of what they care for.
  • The advantage with the busy person is that they are not afraid of hard work, but they are blind to the results they can generate if their actions would be in the service of commitments and what really matters to them, rather than just some tasks to be performed.
  • With an underlining assessment that states, ‘I have no time’ they resign or give up.
  • Also, with an underlining assessment that states, ‘what I am doing now should have been done by someone else’ or, ‘what I am doing now should have been completed by now. I am already late with this task’ they will become frustrated.
  • Cynicism, with an underlining assessment that states, ‘I distrust others to do this job, so I have to do everything’.
  • Feeling victimized, with an underlining assessment that states, ‘I have to do all this because others are incompetent/do not have the interest/or something similar’.
  • Overwhelmed, with an underlining assessment that states, ‘I have a lot to do’.
  • Exhaustion, with an underlining assessment that states, ‘There is only so much I can do and I cannot go on any more.

How to become better.

  • Ask the following generative questions:
  • For the sake of what result am I doing this task?
  • If I had to make a promise for this task, what would that promise be?
  • Who would be my customer for this promise?
  • How can I have more meaningful actions taken?
  • Make new promises inside of your cares, and take actions to fulfil those promises.

The Performer

  • The performer makes promises, and backs them with action.
  • They may not always know what action needs to be taken, and yet makes promises, and does whatever it takes to fulfil those.
  • When the performer is not able to fulfil their promise, they let the customers know and support them in finding alternatives.
  • They even keep them posted on the status of the fulfilment of the promise.
  • The performer generates results, has high respect for self, enjoys trustworthy relationships, and has a good reputation.
  • In learning to make bigger promises, and backing these promises with action, the performer is expanding their capacity.

Implication and possible emotions.

  • Ambition and resolution, with an underlining assessment that states ‘there are possibilities here and I am going to act on them now’.
  • Commitment, with an underlining assessment that states ‘this project needs and deserves my attention, and I will take whatever action required to be taken to see this project through’.
  • Wonder, with an underlining assessment that states ‘how would it be if I fulfil this commitment – I don’t know how yet, but I will figure it out’.
  • Boldness and courage, with an underlining assessment that states ‘I will take the necessary action, even if I am unsure or scared’.
  • Enthusiasm, with an underlining assessment that states ‘I am enjoying what I am doing. It takes care of what I care about’.
  • Gratitude, with an underlining assessment that states ‘I am grateful for the opportunities that life has presented me with’.

How to become better.

  • Be aware that a performer today can be a busy person, or a safe person, or a jerk tomorrow.
  • Keep making new promises and managing these promises.
  • Be mindful of your capacity, and make only those promises that you assess can be fulfilled.
  • You can expand your leadership impact as a performer by making bigger promises, but not necessarily taking ‘more’ action.

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