May 17, 2012
I read a super interesting article that kind of resonated with me today. The article was posted in INC.com and was entitled: Success Tips: 6 Habits of Truly Memorable People. I will let you read the article yourself here, but the one thing that stood out in my mind from the whole thing was the tip that suggested getting over yourself.
Most of the time your professional life is like a hamster wheel of resume or C.V. padding: You avoid all possibility of failure while maximizing the odds of success in order to ensure your achievement graph climbs up and up and up.
Inevitably, that approach starts to extend to your personal life too.
So you run… but you won’t enter a race because you don’t want to finish at the back of the pack. You sing… but you won’t share a mic in a friend’s band because you’re no Adele. You’ll sponsor the employee softball team but you won’t play because you’re not very good.
Personally and professionally, you feel compelled to maintain your all-knowing, all-achieving, all conquering image.
And you’re not a person. You’re a resume.
Stop trying to seem perfect. Accept your faults. Make mistakes. Hang yourself out there. Try and fail.
Then be gracious when you fail.
When you do, people will definitely remember you because people who are willing to fail are rare… and because people who display grace and humility, especially in the face of defeat, are incredibly rare.
It’s true. The best people I have ever worked with have been the people who can check their ego at the door, be gracious to their fellow employees, give credit where credit is due and not be afraid to admit to their mistakes.
We all have an element of ego and that’s ok, it’s part of what makes you take pride in what you do, but knowing when and where to check the ego will go much further than being the best and showcasing it constantly.
Don’t be afraid to let go of your image and make a mistake, especially if it will ultimately be for the the betterment of the group.
Quick story, my husband is training a new employee right now. He’s not the most senior level person at his employer, he’s not even the technical director, but he has taken the training responsibility under his charge because he wants the new employee to be the best that she can be. So here he is, making sure his work gets done, all while overseeing a new employee’s training process while his boss continually avoids doing anything hands-on. Nobody knows the reason his boss is sidestepping this responsibility, but for what it’s worth, it doesn’t look good to her.
My husband’s co-workers would respect her far more if she would get her hands dirty in the field and help with the training than they do for just letting her put the training responsibility on someone else.
So make yourself stand out today. Do something special in the field, something outside of your comfort zone or outside the box. Check your ego at the door, be gracious and help your co-workers succeed just as you have found success. Trust me, they will respect and admire you all the more for it. Even if it doesn’t seem like it will pay off in the immediate future, it’s guaranteed to pay off in the future.