A Short List of Unhealthy Beliefs

I try to focus my writing on presenting a situation or problem and a way to move forward from it. In this article, I’m going to only focus on the problematic beliefs I encounter in organizations and individuals. The entire point of this little article is to put down the unhealthy things I deal with so you can empathize and maybe be honest about where you might have some of these as well.


  • Need to create a sense of urgency for people to work faster
  • They’re lucky to have this job
  • If I’m working, you’re working
  • We all work outside normal hours
  • If you’re not coding at night or on the weekends, you’ll never make it
  • I never give anyone a 5 out of 5 on performance reviews
  • They can’t handle the truth, so I’ll lie or avoid telling it
  • It’s more important to be liked than effective
  • When folks are busy, things are working well
  • People who are idle aren’t motivated enough
  • If I don’t check in often, people will slack off
  • The more senior people are at this company, the more valuable their ideas or input compared to more junior folks
  • The status is never red or at risk
  • It’s better to present a palatable version of the story than an honest one
  • Why would I want to know their names? They’re contractors
  • She’s probably just going to go on maternity leave soon anyway
  • Of course it was a group effort, but I needed to make my contribution stand out
  • Setting aggressive goals is important for growth; just don’t miss them
  • If I don’t pin people down to a date, they’ll never get it done
  • The issue is serious, but let’s not tell my superiors. They’ll freak out.
  • They just don’t get how hard my job is
  • They don’t take this job seriously enough
  • You’re either in the club or you’re not
  • There just aren’t enough qualified people

I could keep going, but I thought I’d pause here. I suspect there are a few here you’ve seen, felt, and maybe even perpetrated. We’re all imperfect, and we all get another day to try and improve.