What are your business saboteurs?

How your personal issues impact your business — in a big way

What’s a saboteur: Definition

“Saboteur” is the term we use to describe the mental and emotional patterns that dictate your decisions. Saboteurs affect your thoughts and behaviors and are the negative processes that make you sabotage yourself.

Now that you understand what saboteurs are and have taken the saboteur assessment test, it’s time to look at how these same saboteurs invariably threaten the health of your business. Here are the various types of saboteurs and how your personal saboteurs could be affecting your business or career.

The Judge

The “Judge” is divided into three categories: how you judge others, how you judge yourself and how you judge your circumstances. The way your judges are divided reflects on how you are running your business. Here’s how each of your judges are making an unfavorable impact on your company.

Judging Yourself – If you’re judging yourself, you have the tendency to feel like you’re not enough and that you are not doing enough – it’s a form of personal torment. This is causing you to place high (and even unrealistic) expectations not only on yourself but on your staff. Expectations are good, but realistic outcomes should be the main objective. If your staff feels like they can’t live up to your expectations or give you feedback for fear of a negative reaction, you will always have a revolving door of employees and will never turn your team into raving fans.

Judging Others – If you scored highest in judging others, you are fostering a work environment full of judgement. This is not only by your own judgment of others, but that of employees judging each other — because they are, naturally, modeling you. With that kind of attitude, you are causing chaos in your company. When employees are judging each other, they are not working congruently and productivity is lost.

Judging Circumstances – Sometimes circumstances are something you cannot necessarily change; you can only change the way you look at them. When you judge your circumstances heavily, it becomes your main source of anxiety. Your peace of mind is disturbed when you can’t accept circumstances because you’re too busy judging them or waiting for the “perfect” situation to arise.

In the workplace, you are never pleased. You think that when you reach a certain outcome then you’ll be pleased. But, every time you reach that point, your moving target eludes you, and there is yet another thing that has to be accomplished before you can be happy.

When employees feel they can never please their employer, it will lead to feelings of hopelessness and despair, and they do what they have to do to get by rather than giving it their all. The last thing you want in your business is a staff that does the minimum just to please you because they feel they will never meet your expectations.


You are a perfectionist. The only problem is, you will never be perfect. No one can be perfect. Your constant need for perfection brings out your sarcastic, irritable and critical side and no one wants to be victim to that behavior – not your employees, and certainly not your business partners. You’re playing the Stickler saboteur role without even knowing it. Your constant berating causes tension, frustration and a tense working environment – and that creates a counterproductive workplace with all sorts of other problems in tow.


You put yourself second and others first, which causes you to lose out on your vision and miss your own outcomes. Are you running your business or are your employees? More than likely, it’s the latter. Unfortunately, trying to please everyone cannot happen if you want your business to really be successful.


The constant fear and anxiety you have about your company is preventing you from taking your business to the next level. Your fear is stopping you in your tracks, and it’s affecting your business. Not only that, but your constant worrying brings with it a draining energy that nobody wants to be around. Your business is bogged down by your behavior and lack of progress. No one wants to come to a depressing work environment every day, so team morale is low, and many people have one foot out of the door.


You tend to be a scatterbrain and have trouble being content with anything, be it in your professional or personal life. You like frequent change, but if you are to have any accomplishments in your business, you need to see things through to the end. Halting projects, starting new ones and then jumping back into old projects again is counterproductive – and it’s slowing down your company’s progress. How much more can you accomplish if you have a singleness of purpose?


You create a lot of anxiety within yourself, but also in others, in order to get your way. And though things may work out for you sometimes, your behavior can make others resent you. This resentment makes others not want to put their best foot forward when they’re collaborating with you. They will let you run the show even though they may have ideas that rival your own. In the end, it’s about making your company a success, and you cannot control every aspect of that journey. If you try, it will not turn out as successful as it could be.


Things happen for you, not to you. Unfortunately, you seem to see it the opposite way, and this is the relevance of an Avoider saboteur. Instead of turning lemons into lemonade, you avoid any problems that exist, which escalates the issues – and soon your gift turns into a problem. If you are unable to get to the bottom of various issues and make them work for you instead of against you, you’re only slowing down the progress of your own company’s success.


You’re an achiever, and that’s great. However, you need to learn how to acknowledge your past successes instead of basing your happiness on the next success that hasn’t happened yet. If you can’t be happy until you achieve your next accomplishment (and even then, it’s short-lived), then you risk pulling your employees into the same cycle of only being happy when achieving. Life isn’t all about achievement – it’s about being happy with making progress along the way.

Life (and business) has ups and downs, and those shouldn’t solely be based on your next achievement. If not, it only creates a work environment of people feeling that they are not good enough and they are not doing enough, which is affecting your employee morale. You cannot worry about tomorrow, only today. There is no reason to be miserable on the journey to reaching your next goal, so be sure to enjoy the process, too.


Nobody wants to work for a Debbie or Donald Downer. The “poor me” mentality gets old very quickly to those around you. If the only way your staff can get through to you is to placate you on a constant basis, they will feel like they are your babysitter and will be frustrated in that role. The result will be difficulty keeping quality talent, or worse, those that do stick around will eventually take your victim mentality as a weakness and then take advantage of you as an employer. Employees need a leader, not a victim.


You love to analyze every situation and that limits the emotional connection that you have with others. Instead of leading with feeling, you’re relying solely on logic. Your employees feel judged and disconnected and your business suffers because of it – often resulting in them leaving because they cannot deal with you for the long term. Most employees are spending more time with you than with their own families, so having a little emotional connection is okay; it may even help you build a stronger, tighter team.

The incredible thing is that you don’t have to be overcome by your business saboteurs. Everyone has areas they need to improve upon, but by acknowledging what’s holding you back and deciding to move forward, you’re already leagues ahead of your competition.

Chamine, Shirzad (2012). Positive Intelligence. Greenleaf Book Group


Team Tony

Team Tony cultivates, curates and shares Tony Robbins’ stories and core principles, to help others achieve an extraordinary life.

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