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  • Writer's pictureSophia Chin

Why You’ll Never Want to Do Great Work

Updated: Jun 18, 2020

Photo credit: Edited version of Bouguereau, William-Adolphe. The Bather. 1879. Hirschl & Adler Galleries Inc., New York. Web.

The future of work is coming, and it’s going to be wonderful, if more of us will facilitate innovation through doing great work. Innovation is a “big” word, but it simply means positive change. We can make a huge difference to our world if everyone does great work by trusting our inner authority and make small and simple changes to the way we work. And it just takes three simple steps.

Yeah, right.

If it is simple, why are so many of us not innovating?

Having been through ten innovation cycles in the last seven years, I can attest… easier said than done. I had never worked so hard in my life, but I felt like a hamster: running fast but going nowhere.

I was fighting the worst enemies. They expertly thwarted my every move, as if they knew what I was thinking. My worst enemies weren’t my competitors, an underperforming team nor the robots taking over our jobs. My worst enemies were within.

Any of them sound familiar to you?

Shadow Brat

The shadow brat is only concerned with new possibilities. It struggles with anything repetitive or difficult. It stops you from learning new skills by scaring you with feelings of boredom and shame. It just wants to wallow in the bliss of ignorance.

Shadow Victim

The shadow victim is only concerned with protecting its own ego. It struggles with uncertainty. It stops you from taking charge of your own success by telling you that empowerment just isn’t worth it. Why blame yourself when you can blame others?

Shadow Prostitute

The shadow prostitute is only concerned with belonging. It struggles from insecurity issues. It is willing to sell its integrity and bend to the wishes of the highest bidder. It stops you from pursuing your true passion by telling you that it’s better to be miserable in a job than to be out of a job. Just wait, your big break will come and then you can follow your dreams.

Shadow Saboteur

The shadow saboteur is only concerned with freedom of choice. It stops you from pursuing your greatest opportunities by playing on your suspicions that you are a fraud. And so you play safe by avoiding failure.

These inner demons were standing in the way of unleashing my full potential. I had to do something. I learnt the hard way that…

  • Ignoring them doesn’t work. These inner demons are very, very persuasive, and they come when I’m most vulnerable, in my dreams where I have very little control.

  • Slaying them doesn’t work either, because I value what they are guarding: curiosity, self-esteem, passion and wisdom.

Doing great work is not about doing the same things faster. It’s about doing things differently. The biggest challenge to doing great work is confronting your inner demons. This is the reason why companies like Apple and Google love hiring people with entrepreneurship experience, because they have confronted their inner demons and unleashed their full potential.

When you do great work, you get off the spinning wheel, and you start to soar.

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PERSONNA is a leadership development company focused on the people side of transformation. We hold a simple belief that everyone is an extraordinary and powerful force for positive change. When you make work personal, naturally you become a better leader.

We’re here to help people become better leaders, build highly-effective teams, and create a culture of trust & collaboration in their organisations. We provide leadership branding, leadership coaching and group experiences. If you are curious to learn more drop us an email to

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