The Definitive Guide to Business

Marcus Lemonis: To be truly successful avoid these 2 mental traps

Marcus Lemonis shares the two psychological traps that could be limiting...

Serial entrepreneur and host of CNBC's "The Profit" Marcus Lemonis spends a lot of time evaluating companies to determine where they went wrong. 

There are two traits that the "turnaround king" routinely sees preventing employees and the teams they're part of from succeeding in business: Ego and fear of failure.

Workers who fall into these traps will hinder their own ability to move forward as well as diminish the success of their teams. 

Marcus Lemonis on Squawk Box, 2015
Melody Hahm | CNBC

"Most people think this is like a race where they have to win," says Lemonis. "There's really not a winner or losers. It's about the company winning."


Lemonis says that even after all his years working with highly-motivated business people, he is "still surprised by how much ego plays into people's decision making."

It's particularly confusing, he says, because self-interested decisions are rarely the kind that will generate the best results for the company, and employees who put the company's interests first are the kind that leaders like Lemonis are routinely looking to add to their teams. 

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It's tough to know then, says Lemonis why "one person would want to elevate themselves and minimize other people in an effort to move the business along," when individuals who work effectively as a group almost always achieve better outcomes.

"[Egotistical employees] are setting the company up for failure, they're setting themselves up for failure and they're potentially going to make a decision that's going to impact other people," he says.

Fear of failure

The other trait that Lemonis sees standing in the way of employees' success is the fear of failure.

"They don't want to be embarrassed or they don't want to have it on their scorecard that they have two wins and one loss," Lemonis says. 

If an individual can't manage to master this anxiety, it will prevent them from pursuing new opportunities and tackling the kinds of challenges that can propel someone forward, professionally.

You're going to fail at something. Who cares?
Marcus Lemonis
serial entrepreneur, host of CNBC's "The Profit"

Instead of being consumed by the fear of making a wrong step, stop to consider the fact that everyone, including the most successful leaders, has failed or will fail at some point — and lived to tell the tale. Failure indicates the willingness to take risks, and the ability to learn from errors is invaluable in any industry. 

"I think if you get up everyday and put forth the right effort, with the right integrity, with the right mindset," says Lemonis, "you're going to fail at something. Who cares?"

CNBC'S "The Profit" airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET

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